Feeds

Penalty for silent calling goes sky high

Two million reasons not to call

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Companies caught repeatedly making silent calls could get fined up to £2m in future, compared to the £50,000 maximum that taciturn sales staff currently pay.

After a consultation period, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills has decided upping the potential fine is the best way to stop companies giving people the silent treatment.

Silent calls are generated when an automated dialling system calls up marks on the expectation that a call-centre drone will be available to talk when the phone is picked up. But if no drone is available then the callee is left hanging on the line. That's an irritation to most of us, but scary in the wrong circumstances.

The problem peaked a couple of years back when the kit got cheap enough for everyone and their brother to buy. During 2008 Ofcom was getting more than a thousand complaints a month, and came down hard on some big brands involved. Last year saw around half the number of complaints, but now the regulator wants more than a slap on the wrist for those who can't be brought to book any other way.

The £2m fine won't be applied often, but it will be a significant stick for Ofcom to shake at naughty companies - assuming they're based in the UK. Cheaper transatlantic rates means many sales calls come from the USA these days - beyond the reach of Ofcom and outside the remit of the Telephone Preference Service. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
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.
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?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.