Ofcom consultation: silent and abandoned calls | DMA

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Ofcom consultation: silent and abandoned calls


Ofcom are currently reviewing their persistent misuse powers regarding silent and abandoned calls.

The consultation proposes:

  • Setting out an explicit policy position that consumers must not be subject to silent calls under any circumstances, however caused and in whatever number, and that enforcement action against those who make any silent calls will be our highest priority;
  • Making similarly explicit that consumers should not be subject to abandoned calls and that:
  • We may take enforcement action in any cases where the caller makes more than three abandoned calls;
  • Where we have to prioritise enforcement resources, we are likely to take into account the number of abandoned calls made and/or the rate at which they are made (the higher these are, the more likely it is we would act);
  • We are likely to regard cases in which a caller’s ACR is three per cent or more or which also involve silent calls as a higher priority for enforcement action and that callers in such cases can expect us to act; and
  • Where we take enforcement action, we will take into account all abandoned calls a caller makes, not just those on any days in which its ACR is three per cent or more.

Ofcom propose that where an organisation makes more than three single abandoned calls they may face enforcement action. But that enforcement action will targeted at the worst offenders, which will be considered to be organisations in breach of the 3% threshold. Silent calls will not be permissible under any circumstances.

This is consultation does not mean Ofcom intend to immediately change the rules regarding silent and abandoned calls.

The DMA is currently consulting with members on how best to respond to the Ofcom proposals.

The DMA has already spoken to Ofcom about how little time organisations have had to respond and so the deadline was extended from 10 February to 24 February.

Furthermore, the DMA will meet Ofcom on 2 February to discuss the consultation, its possible impact and what Ofcom’s objectives are.

We will update members once we have a better understanding of what Ofcom wants to achieve.

You can find the consultation document here.

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