Friday, 19 April 2013
Ofcom fine Talk Talk £750000 for silent calls
Ofcom has fined TalkTalk £750,000 for making an excessive number of abandoned and silent calls to potential TalkTalk customers during 2011 through two of its call centre operators.1
The penalty follows an investigation as part of Ofcom’s monitoring and enforcement programme which is aimed at reducing harm caused by abandoned and silent calls.
Abandoned and silent calls occur when a call is made and the phone is answered at which point the caller hangs up the call. Ofcom’s policy on abandoned calls is that the abandoned call must include a message giving the following information:
· Who has called
· How you can opt out of future contact on sales calls
A silent call is where this message is not played and this can be caused by a number of factors which can include how agents handle calls or the use of technologies that detect the presence of answering machines (AMD). Ofcom’s guidelines set out an abandoned call rate formula which provides that abandoned call rates should be no more than 3% of live calls per a campaign or per call centre over a 24 hour period.
Ofcom derives the power to impose financial penalties on parties that have persistently misused an electronic communications network or electronic communications service from section 130 of the Communications Act 2003.
During Ofcom’s investigation they found that during one of Talk Talks campaigns that they exceeded the limit by a substantial amount on four separate occasions between 1st February 2011 and the 21 March 2011. They also failed to ensure that information messages were played and as a result Talk Talk made approximately 9000 silent and abandoned calls.
During a separate campaign Talk Talk did not adequately follow Ofcom’s policy to ensure that when using AMD technology to make calls to consumers it created a reasoned estimate of the accuracy of the technology and failed to keep adequate records to demonstrate its compliance with the policy
For the full release please click here to visit Ofcom.