Telemarketing firms will soon be forced to adopt caller-ID technology, allowing consumers to see who is calling before they even pick up the phone, if the nuisance call task force gets its way.
The DMA has been pressing for the mandatory introduction of the technology ever since the proposal was first included in recommendations made by the Which?-led task force’s report, published in February.
Although new regulations, introduced in April, have made it easier for the Information Commissioner’s Office to clampdown on rogue companies, millions of calls are still made using “number withheld”, making it almost impossible for consumers to complain about them.
Back in February, DMA director of external affairs Mike Lordan told BBC News: “[More can be done] with caller IDs. There also needs to be more effort by telecoms companies and the regulators to try to track down these calls that are being made from overseas.”
Now the task force wants the use of caller-ID technology to be included in the new Consumer Rights Bill. Which? boss Richard Lloyd said: “If we know who’s calling we can help regulators go after who plague us with unwanted calls.”
The move follows last week’s the launch of a new consumer campaign, backed by Which?, the ICO and the DMA, designed to get more people to complain about rogue calls. However, by his admission Information Commissioner Christopher Graham admitted he only had a “very small, but very effective team” working on enforcement action.
His admission has sparked calls for the ICO to be given greater powers to combat an issue which threatens to destroy the UK telemarketing industry as we know it.
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