Vodafone UK has become the first telecoms company to achieve the Telephone Preference Service Assured accreditation, having passed an extensive audit of its outbound call centres by the DMA.
Despite being launched nearly three years ago, Vodafone has become only the third business to achieve TPS Assured status, behind Which? and Anglian Windows.
Earlier this year, the DMA – which runs the scheme on licence from Ofcom – was forced to dismiss claims that the scheme was dead in the water, insisting that the process is so rigorous that it can take many months to complete. At the time it insisted that a further 10 companies had applied.
The accreditation means that Vodafone and its partners comply fully with both the laws and best practice governing telemarketing.
The DMA’s auditors carried out a detailed and lengthy review of Vodafone’s UK outbound marketing operations, examining both processes and analysing call records to ensure it is compliant. The TPS Assured certification means Vodafone has proved it does not conduct any telemarketing activities that could be detrimental or distressing to the consumer, such as cold calling or misleading sales techniques.
Vodafone UK has also installed new barring technology across its mobile network capable of blocking nuisance and scam calls on a mass-scale before they reach customers. Both moves are claimed to be part of Vodafone’s major investment in its network and customer services.
Vodafone UK external affairs director Helen Lamprell said: “Telemarketing calls from broadband, phone, TV and telecoms providers feature in the top five most complained about topics to the Information Commissioner’s Office. This is unacceptable. We are committed to treating our customers and other consumers with respect, and through our qualification of this accreditation, we are taking action.”
DMA Group chief executive Chris Combemale added: “The DMA is committed to putting customers at the heart of everything a brand does, in order that the business can prosperously grow to be enjoyed, prized and ultimately sustained by its market. Achieving the TPS Assured accreditation highlights that Vodafone is putting its customers first by ensuring that it complies with the rules governing telemarketing, but even more important that it respects the wishes of the consumer.”
DMA hits back at claims that TPS Assured is dead duck
TPS plan to combat rogue callers
ICO evidence exposes mass abouse of the TPS rules
Top brands ‘making nuisance calls’
Whitaker challenges DM to clean up
Under-fire TPS hangs in the balance
People on TPS ‘get more cold calls’