GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Nuisance call regulations could change

LAWFor many call centres, there is a fine line between contacting customers and becoming a nuisance. As a result, there are increasingly strict regulations ruling telephone answering services to ensure that they serve consumers rather than annoy them. Now, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has proposed some legal changes that could affect the sector.

By current law, companies are only open to prosecution if members of the general public have suffered “substantial damage”. However, under the proposals, the wording would be changed to “annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety”, which could possibly open the floodgates for more prosecutions.

With changes likely to start in the New Year, it is vital for call centres to ensure they are complying with the rules. Many will welcome the new rules because they mean rogue operators will be pushed out of the market. However, some believe the changes aren’t enough because definitions allow people to find loopholes.

For example, The Fair Telecoms Campaign’s David Hickson said: “The most obvious response would be to scrub out the entire definition of the damage caused – to stop companies getting off on a technicality in court. While the proposed measure would make sense if it was just a case of tidying up a remaining handful of small offenders, there are still a number of larger companies – and issues – which have yet to be properly addressed.”

It is vital for all call centres to keep an eye on changing rules. This will allow companies to remain compliant whilst serving their customers in the best way they can.

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