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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Ofcom is allowing - not stopping - Silent Calls

In a press release issued today - Ofcom 'must stop more silent calls', Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Public Accounts Committee, rounds on Ofcom’s persistent failure to use the powers that it holds to properly address the problem of Silent Calls.

Ofcom has been told by parliament – “We expect you to use your powers to eradicate the nuisance of Silent Calls”.

Despite being granted a higher possible penalty, Ofcom has responded by revising its policy on Silent Calls to include an even greater tolerance of this unacceptable and unnecessary nuisance than that which it has applied for the last 8 years.

When asked to explain the new policy on BBC television last week, Lynn Parker, Ofcom Director of Consumer Protection confirmed the point that I have been making:

Interviewer: "So companies are allowed one silent call per day?"

Parker (Ofcom): "YES"

¾ See BBC News item with recording

This is, of course, one per recipient per caller per day. If a large call centre makes 20,000 calls a day in total Ofcom is already content if 600 of these are Silent Calls. They can now make a further Silent Call to any victim the following day, whereas a three day gap was previously suggested.

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