Ofcom has fined UK operator TalkTalk £750,000 for making an excessive number of abandoned and silent marketing calls to prospective customers.

The independent regulator found that TalkTalk made approximately 9,000 silent and abandoned calls to consumers during one telemarketing campaign in early 2011. It also found that the provider failed to comply with Ofcom policy on a separate marketing campaign during the period.

TalkTalk failed to ensure that when using AMD equipment to make calls to customers, it created a “reasoned estimate of the technology’s accuracy”. It also failed to keep adequate records to demonstrate its compliance with the regulator’s policies.

“If AMD equipment detects an answer machine, any repeat calls to that number on that same day should only be made if a call centre agent is guaranteed to be able to handle the call,” said Ofcom. “TalkTalk failed to abide by this policy on one day between 1 February and 21 March 2011.”

TalkTalk is required to pay within 30 days of receiving the penalty notification.

“Silent and abandoned calls can cause annoyance and distress to consumers. Companies must abide by the law and Ofcom’s policies. If they fail to do so then Ofcom will take firm action,” said Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s consumer group director.

“Today’s penalty sends out a strong message to organisations using call centres that they must comply or face the consequences.”

Pic: (cc) Solarbotics

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