In a victory for our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls & Texts campaign and its 112,000 supporters, the Government today announced an Action Plan to tackle this menace.
The Government’s Action Plan is the first comprehensive and co-ordinated effort on nuisance calls, and includes the following new measures:
• Lowering the threshold for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take action against cold calling firms – calls will only have to cause annoyance rather than ‘substantial distress’.
• New regulations to let Ofcom and the ICO share information on rogue companies.
• The Ministry of Justice will consult on whether PPI cold callers should face fines of up to 20% of their annual turnover.
• Which? to lead a task force reviewing how people consent to receive marketing calls.
The Government’s culture secretary Maria Miller declared that ‘nuisance calls must stop’:
‘People need to feel safe and secure in their homes. The rules are clear – people have the right to choose not to receive unsolicited marketing calls. We will work to ensure their choice is respected.’
Which? to head up task force
Our campaign found that people are often unaware that they’ve given permission to be contacted by a company for marketing purposes. This is why the Government has asked us at Which? to set up a task force to review how consumers give and withdraw their consent to be contacted.
I’m delighted to be chairing the task force, which will bring together regulators, consumer and industry experts to tackle the issue of consent head on.
We now look forward to regulators using their new powers to help stop this growing problem from pestering people like Caroline:
‘Every day I receive cold calls regarding PPI. I dive to my phone every time it rings in case it is my mother needing help.’
This victory came about thanks to your support for our campaign – congratulations and we hope the scourge of nuisance calls is on its way out.
Are you still bombarded by nuisance calls? Are you happy to see action being taken at last?