Loud action on silent and abandoned calls | DMA

Filter By

Show All

Connect to


Loud action on silent and abandoned calls


Ofcom want to know the industry’s views on silent and abandoned calls and have launched a consultation, reviewing how they use their ‘persistent misuse’ powers.

Persistent misuse powers relate to organisations that misuse the telecoms network causing annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety to consumers. Ofcom has enforcement powers to prevent such harms affecting consumers.

In the consultation document Ofcom state that 1.5 billion silent calls and 200 million abandoned calls are made every year. Ofcom received 44,900 complaints in the 12 months up to October 2015.

The problem remains widespread in spite of previous action taken by Ofcom and so they have come to the conclusion that current policy is simply not working.

Ofcom believes that the 3% threshold - so long as the 3% threshold is not hit it does not matter if silent and abandoned calls are made - has been interpreted by organisations as a baseline for enforcement action. Ofcom worries that its policy may have contributed to this problem.

The consultation proposes that the enforcement action could be taken whenever more than three single silent or abandoned calls are made. However, this comes with the caveat that when resources are stretched offenders breaching the 3% threshold will be prioritised.

Where enforcement action has to be taken, Ofcom will consider all silent and abandoned calls made by an organisation, not just those that occurred on a given day when the 3% threshold was broken. Taking more calls into consideration would mean larger fines.

Furthermore, Ofcom plan to streamline their enforcement procedures, freeing resources to take on more cases. Part of their new policy will be to issue provisional penalties at the same time as issuing a breach notification.

Ofcom’s consultation makes it clear that it does not condone any silent or abandoned calls owing to widespread consumer harm coming from the current situation.

The deadline for submissions to the consultation is 10 February 2016. The DMA will be submitting a response to the consultation but welcomes comments from members.

Please, send any comments you may have to our external affairs executive, Zach Thornton, via email zach.thornton@dma.org.uk

You can access the consultation document here. See annex 4 for the consultation questions.

Hear more from the DMA

Please login to comment.