Bosses to be held responsible for nuisance calls Nuisance Calls Task Force sets out key recommendations

08 December 2014

Phone calls

The government’s Nuisance Calls Task Force will today set out recommendations to help tackle the everyday menace of unwanted calls and texts.

One key recommendation will be for senior executives to be held to account for the behaviour of their company.

The task force, chaired by Which? executive director Richard Lloyd, is part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Action Plan on nuisance calls. 

The government asked the task force to review the way businesses obtain and use consumers' consent to be contacted by phone and text for direct marketing.

If you're bombarded by unwanted calls find out how to stop nuisance calls and texts.

Direct marketing practices need improving

The task force is calling for businesses to ensure compliance with the rules is dealt with at board level, with senior executives being held to account for how their company behaves.

It also says that companies should allow consumers to easily revoke consent to being contacted and that companies should keep a record of consumer consent given.

Richard Lloyd said: ‘Consumers have suffered nuisance calls and texts for far too long. They are often confused or misled by requests for consent to being contacted.

Only through concerted and coordinated action will we put people back in control of their data and help bring this modern day menace to an end.’

Regulators urged to take more action

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is being asked to work with other regulators to understand issues which cause consumer harm and identify action to remedy problems.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is being asked to develop best practice for providing information to consumers, including clarifying the wording for how people opt-in and opt-out of being contacted for marketing purposes.

Government is being called on to lead a cross-sector business awareness campaign to ensure companies know their responsibilities when it comes to making marketing calls and texts, and should consider how future legislation could tackle nuisance marketing.

Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts

Today's recommendations follow the £70,000 fining by the ICO of the company behind Manchester’s annual festival, the Parklife Weekender, after it sent unsolicited marketing text messages to 70,000 people who had bought tickets to last year’s event.

Which? launched its Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign, which has gained around 135,000 supporters, after finding around eight in 10 people had received a nuisance call on their land line in the previous month. 

Eight in 10 people found these calls an annoying interruption, while one third felt intimidated by them. 

More than 50,000 complaints have been logged on the Which? Nuisance calls online complaints tool with around half going on to complain to the regulator.

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