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BT blamed for Davina McCall spamcalls

When is a call not a call?

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BT has rejected accusations that it wrongly engaged in sales calls by leaving subscribers voicemail messages telling them about all the great work it does for charity.

The Reg was contacted by an angry reader who found a message from Davina McCall on his 1571 voicemail telling him about BT's sponsorship of the Sport Relief charity. He was annoyed because his number has been registered with the no-pester register the Telephone Preference Service since February 2007, which should ensure he doesn't get unsolicited sales or marketing calls.

You might think the issue here is whether or not a charity call is really a sales call, but in fact it's even murkier than that.

When the reader complained to BT he was told that the message did not qualify as a call because the messages were sent straight to subscribers' mail boxes; since no actual two-way phone call was made, the communication is not covered by TPS rules.

BT said: “As part of this year’s Sport Relief campaign BT is sponsoring the BT Sport Relief Million Pound Bike Ride. To raise money BT is operating Chat for Change Day on Friday 26th February where 1p will be donated to Sport Relief for every call made on a BT landline.

"To highlight this activity and to raise as much money as possible to help people living incredibly tough lives, a message was sent out to BT customers on their 1571 mailbox. We have received a small number of complaints regarding the message and are sorry if it caused any distress.”

Our reader was even less impressed when he received an email on Friday from BT repeating its charity message.

Meanwhile BT's six celebs are pedalling their way through Thurso at the time of writing on their way from John O'Groats to Land's End. ®

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