HomeServe fined £750,000 by Ofcom for silent calls

HomeServe: fined £750,000 by Ofcom
HomeServe: fined £750,000 by Ofcom

HomeServe, the home insurance and repairs company, has been fined £750,000 by Ofcom for making excessive silent and abandoned calls to UK consumers.

Ofcom investigated HomeServe last year under its monitoring and enforcement programme, which aims to reduce harm to consumers caused through silent and abandoned calls.

HomeServe made an estimated 14,756 abandoned calls between 1 February and 21 March last year.

Ofcom's rules set a limit to the number of abandoned calls that companies can make to consumers, while it prohibits companies from making repeat calls to specific numbers within a 24 hour period where a call has been picked up by an answer machine.

Ofcom found HomeServe in breach of both rules. HomeServe exceeded the abandoned call limit on 42 separate occasions between 1 February and 21 March last year, and made an estimated 36,218 repeat calls to numbers within a 24-hour period.

HomeServe is the first company to be fined for excessive silent and abandoned calls since the penalty was upped from a maximum of £50,000 to £2m in September 2010.

Claudio Pollack, consumer group director at Ofcom, said: "Our rules are there to prevent consumers suffering annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety from silent or abandoned calls.

"We hope today’s fine will send a strong message to all companies that use call centres that they need to ensure they are fully compliant with the rules or face the consequences."

HomeServe now has a dedicated helpline for onsumers that have been affected by the calls, and will offer £10 in compensation for every claimant whose telephone number matches those who received the silent or abandoned calls.

Last month Ofcom said TalkTalk has held its position as the most complained about telecoms provider, with 0.78 complaints per 1,000 customers attributed to the brand's landline coverage.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @LoullaMae_ES

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer