Businesses considering BT Versatility telephone systems installations that cold call potential customers should familiarise themselves with regulations regarding the practice now that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has announced it will be making it easier for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take action against nuisance calls.
From April 6th 2015, the ICO will have greater power to intervene in more cases, with the government also confirming that it will be considering new measures to hold board-level executives to account for texts and calls.
According to a recent Which? survey, approximately four out of five people say they regularly receive cold calls at home, with one-third of these saying the methods left them feeling intimidated.
In November 2014, there were 15,642 complaints made to the ICO relating to nuisance texts and calls. For the entire year, more than 175,000 complaints were received by the organisation.
Information commissioner Christopher Graham welcomed the new development, saying: “The rules around marketing calls have been a licence for spammers and scammers, and people are sick of them. This law change gives consumers the chance to fight back.”
Currently, the ICO has the power to issue financial penalties of up to £500,000 if it can be proved that the messages or calls either caused or had the potential to result in substantial damage or distress. This bar is set to be lowered to make it easier to hand out fines to companies.
If you are involved in cold calling, now would be the time to review your procedures so you can make sure that your company is not hit with a substantial fine.