Sytel Limited, a leading supplier of call centre solutions, has urged Ofcom to uphold its recent crackdown on the persistent practice of nuisance calling. In a statement issued last month, Ofcom threatened to fine companies who flaunted the 3% ceiling on silent or nuisance call, and although several companies have been reprimanded, no fines have yet to be levied.
Commenting, Michael McKinlay, managing director at Sytel Limited said; “For many years Sytel has campaigned for compliance and we have repeatedly warned of the consequences to the outbound market of unregulated dialing. Sometimes markets need to be saved from themselves and without continued vigilance from Ofcom, bad practices will continue and any hope of a sustained recovery in outbound activity is unlikely to be realised. We are aware that many dialer suppliers do not force compliance on their users because of concerns about loss of performance.”
“The key to any efficient and fair market is that practitioners who step outside defined guidelines should be made very aware of their actions and it they persist in them, should be penalised. We want to see Ofcom continue to actively monitor the outbound market and if abuses continue at current levels, take punitive action against offenders.” McKinlay continued.
Silent calls are generated by call centres in industries including telemarketing, market research and debt collection. Use of predictive dialers means that more live calls are sometimes delivered to a call center than its agents can handle. In order to minimize the impact of nuisance caused to consumers, Ofcom’s directives include the following provisions:
- The abandoned call rate must be no more than three per cent of live calls on each individual campaign over any 24 hour period;
- all abandoned calls must carry a short recorded message, identifying the organisation on whose behalf the call was made;
- a caller line identification (CLI) number must be presented on all outbound calls that are generated automatically. CLI allows people to find out who called them.
Separately, the Government confirmed it had increased at Ofcom’s request the maximum fine Ofcom may impose on offenders, from £5,000 to £50,000.
Based in the UK, Sytel Limited provides call centre solutions to organizations in over 30 countries. In the outbound world, its predictive dialer, Softdial Plugin®, is recognized as being the leading dialer for delivering effective performance under compliance. Sytel has campaigned in all major markets for responsible rules for predictive dialers and acts as adviser on dialer regulations to many national marketing and government bodies around the world.