Feeds

MP calls for action over menacing 'silent' calls

Simply 'unacceptable'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Communications regulator Ofcom isn't doing enough to protect people from the menace of "silent" phone calls made by companies trying to flog their goods and services.

BT receives more than 112,000 complaints a month from people worried that they've received a "silent" call.

These calls are generated by computers in call centres which automatically dial numbers. In many cases, though, 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.

Speaking yesterday Labour MP Kevin Brennan rounded on the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) for not doing enough to stamp out the practise in its industry.

Brennan, whose Bill in November to make "silent calls" an offence ran out of parliamentary time, acknowledged that while the DMA industry was "a legitimate one", its "methods are unacceptable".

"These calls cause many problems for those receiving them. The elderly are unduly inconvenienced by these calls and often believe that they are receiving malicious calls. Those that find it difficult to get to the phone are also seriously inconvenienced with silent calls. They have difficulty getting to the phone only to find that when they answer there is a recorded message or worse still silence.

"This is why we need stronger regulation - in the industry's own interest," said the Cardiff West MP.

"Ofcom seems unwilling to use the powers that they have been given under the Communications Act. At present Ofcom will not take action against a company unless this has been instigated by an individual or an outside agency.

"The current enforcement has been ineffective in offering a solution, what is required is a new and stronger partnership between the industry and regulator.

"The powers that are currently held by Ofcom need to be used more effectively in order to deter companies from flaunting the current legislation." ®

Related stories

MP demands regulation of 'silent' telesales tactics
Euro MPs face scam crackdown
New 0871 rogue dialler scam spotted
Citizens Advice warns of 'shocking' rogue dialler scams

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.