It is currently down to Ofcom and the ICO to police this area, but they have demonstrated that they are unable to operate in the necessary manner. Both bodies operate on the principle of regulating (i.e. limiting) the scale of impropriety rather than setting out to eliminate it. For example, Ofcom actively does nothing about call centres that generate Silent Calls within specified boundaries.
Nuisance Calls Agency
The fair telecoms campaign would like to see a new specialist agency be established to tackle nuisance telephone calls. It would provide citizens with a single point of contact for unsolicited marketing communications and silent calls.
The Agency would ensure proper use of the existing statutory powers. It would be focussed on stamping out the practices of:
- Unsolicited marketing calls, without consent;
- Unsolicited marketing text messages and faxes;
- Recorded message marketing calls; and
- Silent calls.
We think that Citizens Advice will be the ideal organisation to host this new agency. It already provides the statutory consumer advice line (formerly Consumer Direct by OFT). From April 2013 it will become the statutory advocate for the consumer interest when it takes over from Consumer Focus. It already has much of the contact with citizens and consumers that is required. As such we believe that it holds the skills, knowledge and experience necessary to operate this new agency.
For more information see: