In a win for our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign, marketing firms will be forced to display their phone numbers in the latest crackdown on nuisance calls.
The Government has announced that it will be a legal requirement for marketing callers to provide a valid phone number that can be displayed when they call you. This will not only help you decide whether you want to answer the call or not, it will make it easier for you to report unsolicited calls to the regulators.
Companies that breach these rules, including those with overseas call centres, will be hit by hefty fines.
Our executive director Richard Lloyd said:
‘It's a victory for consumers that firms are finally going to be forced to display their numbers when making marketing calls. This is another positive step in our campaign against nuisance calls as it should make it easier for people to report unwanted calls. Responsible businesses should have nothing to fear from telling people who is calling.’
Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the minister for data protection, said:
‘Companies are already being financially punished when they blatantly flout the rules, and mandatory caller ID is just another step we are taking as part of a closely coordinated effort with regulators, industry and consumer groups to tackle the problem.’
We first called for mandatory caller ID when we launched our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign in 2013. In the autumn of that year, the Select Committee on Culture Media and Sport and the All Party Group on Nuisance Calls both backed our calls for this.
In March 2014, the Government said it preferred a voluntary approach. But when we wrote to six leading trade associations asking that they meet the voluntary Direct Marketing Association code of practice on CLI, we only got a positive response from one of them.
Then at the end of 2014, in response to an amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill tabled by Baroness Hayter in the House of Lords, the Government promised to make it a legal requirement for companies to use Caller Line Identification (CLI). That promise is now coming to fruition.
Thank you to all of our supporters for helping make this happen. The required change in the law is now being consulted on, and should come into force this spring.
If you want to help us in our fight against nuisance calls, please sign our petition.
SSE has put its full backing behind our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign.
It became the first energy company to end cold calling in 2013 and now it is encouraging other companies to do the same.
'We’re proud to make a difference, ensuring that contact with customers is on their terms and that any great deals we offer are relevant to what our customers want.
'So, in line with the ‘Which?’ campaign, we use Caller Line Identification (CLI) for all marketing calls; we let other companies in our data chain know whether you’ve opted out of all marketing calls or texts; and we make sure we contact with you within six months from the time you gave consent when your initial consent was given via a third party.
'We also make it easy for you to withdraw your consent; we screen all telephone numbers against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), except where customers have specifically requested a call from us; and we carry out an review of the effectiveness of these policies every year.'
Our campaign calls for senior executives to be held responsible for nuisance calls from their company. On that point, SSE has named their sales director, Gary Pickering, as being responsible for their policy on cold calling. SSE adds:
If you’ve received a cold call from us, or anyone else, you can report it to the relevant industry bodies by using the simple complaints tool on the Which? website.'