The direct marketing industry has welcomed Government plans to switch responsibility for the Telephone Preference Service out of Ofcom to the Information Commissioner’s Office, amid claims that the move will enable quicker handling of complaints about so-called nuisance calls.
The ICO will now have direct access to the data, and will also have control over how the register is maintained, as well as how complaints are recorded and handled.
In September, Decision Marketing launched a campaign calling for a complete review of the TPS following industry concerns that the service is no longer fit for purpose. The “Call for Action on the TPS” has been backed by a raft of senior industry figures.
Decision Marketing publishing editor Charlie McKelvey said: “This is great news for the industry as, at last, the TPS will be being managed by a body which understands the problem of so-called nuisance calls. However, our campaign is far from over just yet. It is not just about cold-calling, which is still legal by the way. It is about having a scheme which works for legitimate marketers.”
Announcing the change, Minister of State for Digital & Culture Matt Hancock said: “Nuisance callers are a blight on society, causing significant distress to elderly and vulnerable people. We have been clear that we will not stand for this continued harassment. Last month, we announced plans to make directors personally liable for nuisance calls. Now, we are going to strengthen the enforcement of the rules by giving the Information Commissioner powers to act, all part of our on-going campaign against rogue callers.
“This measure will enable complaints arising from nuisance calls and faxes to be dealt with more quickly.”
DMA head of preference services, compliance and legal John Mitchison added: “We welcome the decision to consolidate the TPS and its enforcement within one Government department, in this case the Information Commissioner’s Office. This will ultimately enable quicker handling of complaints and a clearer view of the rogue businesses that are serially breaking the laws when it comes to making nuisance calls. We look forward to working with the ICO over the coming years on both the TPS and preparing the one-to-one marketing industry for the incoming GDPR in May 2018.”
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