What are nuisance calls?
Posted on 9th January 2020 at 15:29
Nuisance marketing calls are unwanted phone calls that attempt to promote a product, service, aim or ideal to you. For example a caller could try to sell you something or ask you to support a particular cause.
There are two types of marketing calls:
Live marketing calls: unwanted marketing calls from a real person.
Automated marketing calls: pre-recorded marketing messages that are played when you answer the phone.
Live marketing calls
The ICO enforces the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 which cover the way organisations make live direct marketing telephone calls.
Live marketing calls should not be made to anyone who has registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), unless they have told the caller that they wish to receive such calls from them. Live marketing calls should also not be made to anyone who has told the caller directly that they do not wish to receive marketing calls.
An organisation must have your consent if it wants to make live marketing calls to you about claims management services (for example about claiming back PPI, personal injury claims, claims about sickness whilst you were on holiday etc).
There are strict rules on who can make a live marketing call to you in relation to pension schemes. If an organisation wants to make a live marketing call to you in relation to pension schemes (for example about transferring your pension funds) they must be a trustee or manager of the scheme, or a firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. However they can then only make such calls to you if you have agreed to receive them, except where there is a clearly defined customer relationship.What can I do to avoid nuisance live marketing calls?
To help stop nuisance live marketing calls you can:
register with the TPS free of charge (you can register mobile numbers as well as landlines). The TPS is a central register of individuals who have opted out of receiving live marketing calls;
register with the CPTS if you are a company (the CPTS works in the same way as TPS but for companies and other corporate bodies);
check privacy statements when you provide your phone number; and
tell organisations you deal with if you don’t want them to market you by phone.
Please note, if you agreed that a particular organisation could make live marketing calls to you but you then subsequently registered your number with the TPS, your initial consent to that organisation still remains. You can of course withdraw your consent to marketing calls however you will need to contact the organisation directly to do this.
What can I do if I am receiving nuisance live marketing calls?
You should tell the caller that you don’t want to receive marketing calls from them. The organisation should then stop the marketing calls. If the organisation continues to make marketing calls even though you have asked them to stop you can report your concerns to the ICO.
If you register your number with the TPS and you continue to receive nuisance live marketing calls 28 days after registering, you can complain either directly to the TPS or you can report your concerns to the ICO.
Automated marketing calls
The ICO enforces the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 which cover the way organisations make automated direct marketing telephone calls.
You should only receive automated marketing calls if you have previously agreed an organisation can make these calls to you.
What can I do if I am receiving nuisance automated calls?
Some calls you receive may ask you to phone a premium rate number. The Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) regulates products or services that are charged to users’ phone bills or pre-pay accounts. You can contact them to report these calls or to access details of the premium rate number ranges the PSA regulates. Link to the PSA Website
For all other nuisance automated marketing calls, you can report your concerns to the ICO.
Silent or abandoned calls
These are calls when you answer the phone and there's no one there. If you are receiving silent calls, you can get more advice from Ofcom on 0300 123 3333.
Or their Ofcom website
What is the ICO doing about nuisance calls?
They meet with companies to discuss their compliance with the law and monitor their progress. They also have the power to fine those who break the law up to £500,000.
They publish a monthly update on action they have taken to enforce nuisance calls and messages.
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