GoResponse Telephone Answering Service Staff

Ofcom proposes changes to CLI rules

telephone212.1Nuisance calls remain a problem for the call centre industry. Even though many respectable firms continue to battle the negative effect of these contracts, Ofcom is suggesting new rules.

These would include lowering the current thresholds to allow more action against breaches of the rules and making it illegal to withhold a Calling Line Identity (CLI) for marketing calls. This means that many firms could be forced to alter their business practices to remain within the law.

The number of reported nuisance calls continues to rise, with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and Ofcom revealing that cases rose by 11 per cent for the year 2014/15. To combat this, Baroness Neville-Rolfe wants to amend the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) to ensure that marketing calls can no longer be made without clearly showing the CLI.

Currently, around half of all direct marketing companies already offer full disclosure of their CLIs. For the remainder of telephone answering services firms, making the alteration is fairly simple, with businesses only needing to contact their main telephone provider or update their calling equipment. The financial investment required for such a change is negligible compared to the potential fines if the rules are not followed.

For firms continuing to break the rules, it is likely that substantial fines could be imposed. Since 2012, the partnership between Ofcom and the ICO has resulted in around £2,412,000 in penalties. Under the latest recommendation, CLI would have to be revealed for all marketing calls; firms that do not comply could be fined up to £500,000.

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