Cracking down on rogue telemarketers who flout the law | DMA

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Cracking down on rogue telemarketers who flout the law

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The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published the consultation on lowering the legal threshold for prosecuting companies which ignore the law to make nuisance calls. The issue of nuisance calls continues to negatively affect legitimate telemarketers as adverse media publicity has persisted, driven by companies making PPI and accident claim calls. The bad press has been undeserved as too often little distinction is made between legitimate telemarketers and those who break the law.

All this makes the news of the consultation even better as the Information Commissioner’s Office will finally be empowered to act and crack down on rogue firms. Currently, the ICO has to prove the nuisance calls have caused substantial ‘damage’ or ‘distress’ in order to pursue a successful prosecution. This threshold is too high and has meant the ICO has been hamstrung, unable to prosecute offenders.

The consultation proposes three options and DCMS have selected option three, removing the threshold altogether as their preferred choice. In this instance the ICO would have to prove a firm had been wilfully negligent of the rules.

This is a key stepping stone on the road to combating the problem of nuisance calls more effectively which can be a serious blight on the home life of consumers, especially the vulnerable.

The DMA will be responding to the consultation in due course, the deadline is 7 December 2014. Hopefully, the consultation is completed quickly and with a speedy legislative turnaround.

Link to the consultation: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/nuisance-calls-consultation

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