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Info Commissioner slaps cold-callers

Cracks down on double-glazers, telcos next

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The UK's Information Commissioner has served enforcement notices on five companies involved in direct marketing for calling people who had already made it clear they weren't interested.

And while the notices related mainly to double glazing companies, telcos are next in the firing line.

IDT Direct Limited, often known as Toucan, Staybrite Windows Limited, Zenith Windows Limited, Bowater Windows Limited, and Bowater Home Improvement Limited are the companies in the frame. The companies have also been told to stop calling people who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service, or face fines of up to £5,000.

Four of the companies told punters they would have to call another number to avoid future calls, a practice described as "unacceptable" in the notices served.

IDT Direct Limited is also banned from making automated calls unless it has the individual's explicit permission.

Automated calling systems will often call up a punter on the premise that a call centre drone will be available by the time the punter answers the phone. If no drone is available, the punter gets a silent call, which can upset people.

The notices are in response to complaints from the public, and more complaints will lead to fines being applied.

And it's not just windows and conservatory companies which are guilty of this. The commissioner is meeting Carphone Warehouse and Talk Talk this Friday to discuss similar complaints. Unless assurances of future compliance are accepted, more enforcement notices will be inevitable. ®

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