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MP demands regulation of 'silent' telesales tactics

New offence of 'corporate nuisance'

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Telesales firms responsible for scaring people witless by making silent nuisance phone calls should face stiffer regulation to cut out menacing cold calling. So says MP Kevin Brennan, who wants to introduce a Bill that would make "corporate nuisance" an offence, reports PA.

The Labour MP for Cardiff West is concerned that more and more people are receiving calls generated by call centre computers. Snag is, in many cases when people pick up the phone - no-one's there. That's because call centres often generate more calls than they can handle on the basis that some people won't be in to answer the call. But for people who receive a number of these silent cold calls, it can be a real menace.

What's more, calling 1471 won't do either, it seems, since many of these call centres withhold their numbers. While Mr Brennan accepts that telemarketing is "legitimate if responsibly regulated", he wants companies to be more responsible when calling people and to play a recorded message rather than frighten punters with the silent treatment.

"My Bill would take the side of the consumer and put financial pressure on the industry to clean up its act; it would help those who currently follow best practice and penalise those who show little concern for the misery caused by their silent calls; it would end the scourge of the corporate nuisance call and help millions of people who currently literally suffer in silence," he said. ®

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