Our Calling Time campaign really touched a nerve, with well over 100,000 people signing in support. But now we’ve got the Government’s ear, we need your views on how people consent to be contacted by companies.
Despite the big focus by regulators to tackle nuisance calls, recent research from Ofcom has revealed that the problem is still a very large one, even if the calls have shifted from reclaiming PPI to ‘green’ things, like solar panels.
So it’s good news that we’re moving forward with how to tackle the problem. The Which? task force on consent, which was set up as part of the Government’s Action Plan on nuisance calls, held its first meeting last week.
The task force will look at how you give and withdraw your consent to marketing and how your personal data is traded by lead generation firms. This matters as it often lies at the root of why we receive unwanted marketing. Your personal data is traded on and on, and it’s hard to stop the marketing flow.
Help the task force in its inquiry
We’re now looking for additional evidence on what makes you less or more likely to share your personal information with an organisation. For instance, do you tick or untick ‘consent’ boxes without realising what you’re opting into, and do you understand what happens if you consent to hear from ‘specially selected third parties’? Your answers to these three questions will help our task force with its inquiry:
1. What makes you more or less likely to share your information with an organisation, or to agree to receiving marketing?
2. Do you have a preference for how organisations should ask you for consent to marketing activity?
3. Have you asked companies for more information about how they have bought and sold your personal information, and what was the result?
Feel free to either comment here on Which? Conversation or, if you prefer, you can submit a formal written response by email.
Businesses also called on for evidence
The call for evidence also includes a long list of questions for those who work in the marketing and lead generation sectors. This is because the task force is made up of representatives from all the relevant worlds – the regulators, the marketing sector, call centres and consumer bodies. Businesses can read a full list of questions relevant to them here, and are encouraged to respond with a formal written response.
The aim of the task force is to come up with sensible solutions to help you stop unwanted marketing. Solutions that businesses can adopt, regulators can enforce and, where necessary, the Government can legislate for.
Surely this would be a ‘win-win’ for consumers and marketeers alike – after all the most effective marketing is directed at someone who actually wants to see it. And the most ineffective is directed at someone who doesn’t, such as ‘I don’t want solar panels… because my flat is on the ground floor and I don’t own the roof.’
So, let’s hear your views so that we can tackle the root cause of nuisance calls head on.