Cold callers accused of breaking rules

Many telemarketing firms are ignoring a service setup to allow consumers to opt out of receiving “cold calls”, according to an investigation.


About 17.5 million have registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to prevent receiving unsolicited calls. The service is run by the Direct Marketing Association under license from Ofcom but is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

An investigation by the BBC’s “Panorama”, to be broadcast tonight (2 July), will claim the ICO – which has the power to fine offenders up to £500,000 – has yet to take any action despite receiving thousands of calls every month from irate consumers.

The DMA’s chief of operations, Mike Lordan argues that the TPS is effective but that the ICO is “not flexing its muscles and taking action again companies found to breaking the law”.

Simon Entwisle, director of operations for the Information Commissioner’s Office, old the BBC: “At the moment we definitely are trying to take action against these individuals. We have only had the power to issue the fine since the end of January, so it’s early days yet. The other thing I have to say is there’s a lot of money to be made in this particular sphere.”

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