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Time To Draw The Line? UK Muses Bill That Could Prohibit 'Non-Consensual' Cold Calling
The UK government is currently considering following other countries' lead and introducing radical consumer protection measures with regard to coldcalling.
By: Tellows UG
The UK, meanwhile, has yet to see such a measure come into effect. With those who have signed up to the TPS (about 75% of UK landlines) often reporting receiving double the amount of sales calls received by those who aren't, British phone owners are starting to lose faith in regulators' capacity to keep 'direct marketers' in line.
However, there is a ray of hope; the House of Lords are currently backing a bill which would see the UK go one step further than the USA and outlaw unsolicited calls and texts altogether. The Unsolicited Telephone Communications Bill has been provisionally passed and is to be submitted for a second reading. This strict set of regulations would mean that all telemarketers would have to gain the consent of their 'marketees' before calling, something of a challenge considering the vehemence with which forum users talk about telemarketers.
The regulation itself would be centralised and overseen by Ofcom, a gargantuan task necessitaing much closer surveillance than is currently, by all accounts, in effect. Moreover, such a drastic measure, as Lord Gardiner of Kimble notes, could be disastrous for the direct marketing industry. These are significant considerations which may regrettably cause the bill to stutter.
The APPG (All Party Parliamentary Group) on Nuisance Calls are nonetheless pushing for change; be it a wholesale ban on unsolicited calls, or an enforcement of the current regulations, the winds of change may yet be whistling through the realms of coldcalling.
In the meantime, be sure to arm yourself by looking up unknown numbers on reverse search service sites such as tellows, reporting rogue or pest callers to Ofcom and the ICO and second-guessing the implausible claims an opportunist scam caller may make.
Your phone line is your own! May others respect it.