DecisionMarketing’s campaign aimed at urging Ofcom to rethink how the Telephone Preference Service operates has been backed by a raft of senior industry figures, who have offered their support for the initiative.
Given the delicate nature of the issue, we have pledged not to release supporters’ details until a strategy can be formulated and agreed upon. As if to prove the sensitivity of the campaign, some even believe their involvement could jeopardise existing relationships with clients, suppliers and industry bodies.
Interestingly, the DMA has so far declined to comment on the initiative, although given the fact that it runs the TPS on licence from Ofcom it would be unrealistic to expect it to get involved at this stage. However, if the campaign gathers momentum among the DMA membership – and questions are raised at council and board level – that could well change.
A common theme to many of the responses has been the suggestion that consumers should be obliged to register every year. And, although they concede this would add to running costs – and possibly costs to use the service – they argue that at least the data would be more reliable and more trustworthy.
One respondent said: “I whole-heartedly agree and support your campaign. I have long-believed that the service is out-dated… as an example, I have had three landline numbers in the last five years and all are on TPS. When my previous numbers are re-allocated, they will still be on TPS, which does not reflect the wishes of the existing user.”
A second added: “I am very interested in this. I agree the current system is not fit for purpose. Numbers very rarely get removed from the TPS register and as stated in your article, this means people who then inherit this number in the future are then registered on the TPS register whether they want to or not. There should be a system where you have to re-opt in your number every year or so.”
Another commented: “We are glad to see someone is finally taking the initiative to deal with the inadequate TPS system we currently have. As a company which prides itself on compliant telemarketing and treating customers fairly we certainly would fully support a review of the existing system which frankly is highly restrictive, costly, and bad for productivity and the wider economy.
“Rogue companies give a very negative image of telemarketing to the general public which the press and online media capitalise on for their own gains. Creating legislation based on these problems will only serve to harm legitimate business and create a vacuum for scammers to operate in, as the numbers of calls from legitimate businesses would decline, leaving a captive audience for rogues and scammers to operate within with the potential for the public to treat these calls more legitimately as they wrongly believe that they must be genuine calls.
“Ultimately no amount of rule making will stop criminals operating as by their very nature they ignore laws, instead the current TPS rules only serve to punish legitimate businesses whilst the rogues continue to tarnish our industry.”
DecisionMarketing publishing editor Charlie McKelvey said: “We have had a great response and our campaign has obviously struck a chord with many in the industry. We would urge anyone who has a view on this to get involved. We know it is a sensitive issue, but I personally guarantee that we will not go public until we have agreement from all.”
Moving forward, we are planning to hold a series of open forums so that supporters can air their views on how the industry can resolve this issue. If you would like to join the campaign or simply provide your views on the matter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org – anonymity guaranteed.
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