Ofcom lengthens silent call time after CBI makes case for outbound telemarketing

Ofcom lengthens silent call time after CBI makes case for outbound telemarketing
Ofcom lengthens silent call time after CBI makes case for outbound telemarketing

LONDON - Ofcom, the broadcasting and telecoms regulator, has agreed that firms using automatic diallers to make cold calls are to be given longer before they have to play a recorded message.

Automatic diallers can result in a silent call if more phones are answered than there are agents to handle them. To help remove the chance of a silent call, Ofcom has, until  now, insisted that recorded messages have to be played within two seconds of the phone being picked up.

But this has now been amended so that the two seconds can begin after the person answering the phone starts speaking.

The move, which follows the Government's proposal last month to increase the fines on companies that flout silent call rules from £50,000 to a maximum of £2m, is in response to business concerns about the two-second rule's effects on outbound telemarketing.

In July the Confederation of British Industry issued a document arguing that the two-second rule would have a negative effect on business, as two seconds does not allow answering machine detection technology "sufficient time to operate".

Ofcom has amended the rule to "make it easier for diallers to detect when a call is being answered by a real person or an answering machine," Ofcom says in a statement on its website.

The change is bound to be controversial with consumer groups that have campaigned for silent calls to be banned entirely.

Two years ago Carphone Warehouse was fined £35,000 for silent calls while last September, Barclaycard received the current possible maximum fine of £50,000 for the same practice.




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


Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
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