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Which? writes to minister over nuisance calls

Ed Vaizey urged not to be silent over unwanted calls


Which? has written to MP Ed Vaizey asking him to commit to tackling nuisance calls – one month after calling on the government to strengthen the law.

According to Which? research, an estimated 767 million unwanted calls have been received in the past month alone. 

On 9 July 2013, Which? chief executive Richard Lloyd wrote to Mr Vaizey:  ‘On the 10th June we asked you to call time on nuisance calls and texts by strengthening the law.

‘A month has passed and we’re still on hold. You have been worryingly silent on an issue that directly impacts eight in 10 people in the UK.’ 

Mr Vaizey – the parliamentary under secretary for state culture, communications and creative industries – is the minister responsible for dealing with unwanted calls and texts.

If you’re receiving a high number of nuisance calls, use our guide explaining how to report a nuisance call or text

Which? calls for change

Which? has called on Mr Vaizey to step in before the end of the parliamentary term and review the existing rules. Which? has called for specific changes to the way consumers’ data is used by introducing:

  • an expiry date when a person consents to being contacted by ‘selected third parties’
  • an obligation on businesses to be able to prove to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) that a person gave consent to being contacted.

Which? has also asked that Mr Vaizey’s Communications Review:

  • extends the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) to include firms selling on personal data, not just those that conduct direct marketing
  • lowers the threshold for the ICO under PECR to take enforcement action, so that it doesn’t have to find evidence of harm but just prove a breach of the rules
  • strengthens enforcement action that can be taken against companies which call people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Calling Time on Nuisance Calls

Earlier this year Which? launched its Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign and called on the government to step-in and tackle the problem of nuisance calls.

Which? wants the regulators to be given greater enforcement powers and to form a taskforce which will proactively punish rule breakers.

Since the launch of the campaign, more than 75,000 members of the public have pledged their support. You can pledge your support for the Which? Calling Time campaign to help put a stop to unwanted calls and texts. 

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