Feeds

Ofcom comes down hard on 'silent calls'

Carphone Warehouse cops £35k fine

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Ofcom has slapped susbstantial fines on four UK companies for "causing annoyance to consumers through the making of silent or abandoned calls" in contravention of the Communications Act 2003.

The UK's telecoms watchdog penalised Bracken Bay Kitchens (£40,000 fine), Carphone Warehouse (£35,000), Space Kitchens (£45,000), and Toucan (£32,500) following a self-initiated investigation and "four notifications of misuse of networks and services that Ofcom issued to these companies on 3 November 2006".

The Ofcom statement continues: "In the notifications, Ofcom set out its findings that there were reasonable grounds to believe that each of these companies has engaged in persistent misuse of an electronic communications network or electronic communication services in a way that causes annoyance, inconvenience, or anxiety to consumers. This conduct contravenes section 128(5)(a) and section 128(6)(a) of the Act."

Specifically, Ofcom found the four companies had:

  • Repeatedly exceeded the three per cent limit for abandoned calls. Between April and July 2006 all four companies' abandoned call rates regularly exceeded three per cent and in some cases were higher than 20 per cent;
  • Failed to include a recorded information message to prevent abandoned calls from being silent calls, during some or all of the period under investigation;
  • Engaged in other forms of conduct which Ofcom considers contribute to the persistent misuse as set out in Ofcom guidelines and specified in the notification issued to each company.

"Silent calls," as Ofcom notes, "can occur when automated calling systems used by call centres generate more calls than the available call centre agents can manage". When the intended target picks up the phone and there's no agent available, "the automated calling system abandons the call".

The silence-generating quartet were given until 6 December last year to answer the charges. Once Ofcom had "considered representations by each of the companies", it "decided to issue a financial penalty in each case". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.