From: David Hickson, of the Fair Telecoms Campaign - veteran Stop Silent Calls campaigner
Ofcom has today announced that it will finally use the increased powers granted by parliament in 2010.
For the first time, it will impose a serious penalty against a company found to be making Silent Calls - See Update note - 19 April 2012.
After nearly nine years of my campaigning on this topic, it could be that Ofcom has finally decided to use the powers which it has always held.
The detail of the scale and precise nature of the nuisance caused by HomeServe, so as to warrant a penalty of £750,000, is still unknown.
I fear that it may be no greater than that caused by many other companies who operate within the tolerance limits set by Ofcom -
|•||Hanging up in silence is OK if you make enough calls that day on which you speak to someone.|
|•||Repeated Silent Calls are OK on successive days, but not on the same day.|
|•||Use of ineffective Answering Machine Detection equipment (which inevitably causes Silent Calls, on an unknown scale) is tolerated.|
I comment -
If this penalty is deserved and is to be effective as a deterrent for others, then Ofcom must make the situation totally clear.
I believe that Ofcom must respond to the wishes of parliament, clearly declared in 2006 -
" we expect you to use your powers to eradicate the nuisance of Silent Calls".
This is not an issue of market regulation, requiring balance and tolerance, it is a case where Ofcom must simply prohibit unacceptable behaviour in the public interest.
(See my blogging "HomeServe and nPower - my response to Ofcom's persistent misuse of its persistent misuse powers")
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