Big issues to tackle in 2017: the reform of the TPS

phone call 2Given the launch of Decision Marketing‘s “Call for Action on the TPS” campaign, it is perhaps not that surprising that we have included the reform of the Telephone Preference Service in this series of articles.
Of course, this is hardly a new issue but it has certainly proved not an easy one to tackle. There have even been suggestions that Decision Marketing has a hidden agenda, that we are being sponsored or paid to run the campaign. Which we are more than happy to confirm is a nonsense.
One thing which is not a nonsense is the fact that in its current form the 17-year-old TPS – run by the DMA under licence – is no longer fit for purpose as it fails to prevent so-called nuisance calls from getting through.
The campaign was launched in September, and is aimed at building industry support to urge regulators to rethink how the Telephone Preference Service operates so legitimate direct marketers can finally distance themselves from the rogue operators. It has been backed by a raft of senior industry figures, who have offered their support.
But it is a sensitive and complex issue, and confusion about how companies should use the service is widespread.
Earlier this year, the Information Commissioner’s Office exposed the abuse of telemarketing rules stretches far and wide after revealing it had written to over 500 companies over concerns they were phoning people registered on the service. It is still not known how many businesses were doing this unwittingly or deliberately.
Of course, the charity sector has had its own issues with the TPS. Last summer it was revealed that the Institute of Fundraising’s own guidance on telemarketing was two years out of date; it endorsed a regulatory approach which was scrapped in 2013. Charities are now paying the price for the IoF’s negligence – and in many cases their own – by being forced to adhere to the Fundraising Preference Service, which will launch next year.
Decision Marketing recently ramped up its campaign by launching an online research and information community, to enable interested parties to exchange views and ideas about how best to move forward.
The launch of the online community followed the Government’s decision to switch responsibility for the TPS out of Ofcom to the Information Commissioner’s Office, in an effort to will enable quicker handling of complaints.
The switch has been backed by the DMA, as well as Decision Marketing, as the TPS will now be being managed by a body which understands the issue.
At the time, Decision Marketing editor Charlie McKelvey said: “Having met with numerous interested parties over the past few weeks, we believe the best way to gain a consensus about how to move forward is to collate the views and ideas from people at the sharp end.
“It is important to be inclusive of as many voices and options as possible, exchange views and build a better and durable replacement for the TPS as it currently stands. This platform is the conduit through which information can be gathered in one place.”
Please visit the site for more details about how to register and become involved in the campaign.

Related stories
‘Call for Action on TPS’ campaign unveils online hub
Industry hails switch of TPS from Ofcom to the ICO
DMA defends TPS but opens the door for dialogue
Spooner on…let’s fix the TPS for the sake of us all
Campaign for TPS reform secures industry support
Decision Marketing starts campaign for TPS reform
It’s in everyone’s interest to join our TPS campaign
Blow to smaller charities as FPS plans are revealed
ICO evidence exposes mass abuse of the TPS rules
IoF data advice two years out of date

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