A few months ago the Government introduced an amendment to the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR). In a nutshell, this new legislation means that a phone number needs to be displayed when making a marketing call. The update to PECR applies to calls to individuals and businesses and is also relevant to calls to current clients in addition to prospective sales calls (see more detailed information here).
The update to this legislation comes as the Government cracks down on nuisance calls. Cold callers will therefore no longer be able to hide or disguise their phone numbers and numbers must be displayed when making marketing phone calls. It is important to note that the number displayed does not need to be the individual direct dial that the call is being made from and businesses are permitted to display a main head office number.
The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) explains that the purpose of this amendment in legislation is not only to improve consumer protection and to make it easier for people to refuse and report unwanted marketing calls, but it will also ensure the ICO can investigate and take enforcement action against callers who persistently and deliberately break the rules.
As specialists in provision of telecoms services including lines, calls and systems BCR Associates can recommend many different solutions to this issue. For most suppliers it will be a relative quick fix to remove the withheld number service. In most cases this will be free of charge, however suppliers will charge a minimal fee for a Presentation Number service if you want to present a different number to the one that you are calling from. An alternative solution would be to reconfigure your telephone systems.
One thing is certain, the issue of nuisance phone calls is being heavily policed and those companies that do not comply could incur heafty fines; the ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000. In addition, the ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. An audit of internal business processes of this nature could cause unnessesary disruption to your business and if findings to not meet regulations you could face criminal charges.
If you would like to discuss your business' telecoms requirements, or any other business needs, BCR Associates' team of experts are here to help. Contact them today on 03330 433 233.