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Regulation Hub Update - August 2019

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This article is written by Steve Sullivan who is the Deputy Chair of the Contact Centre Council.

ICO

Not much from a contact centre perspective over the past few weeks from our friends in Wilmslow…

However, Making It Easy – a boiler repair and replacement firm based outside of Glasgow – has been fined £160,00 for breaking the PECR rules. From May to December last year Making It Easy was responsible for over 850,000 calls to numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). To compound matters, although Making It Easy did present a valid CLI number, it didn’t refer to a proper or traceable trading name and when probed agents were evasive about who was responsible for the calls.

TPS

Russell at the TPS has shared some recent data which shows that after the successive landline and mobile numbers purges undertaken last year, TPS volumes remain very stable month on month at around 19m numbers.

Payments

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) is a mandatory regulation – part of the EU’s 2nd Payment Services Directive (PSD2) – which will require online purchasers to validate and prove their identity more frequently and/or by more robust means. Last month we mentioned that the European banking Authority (EBA) had issued a statement that – in effect – gave national regulators some wiggle room in terms of how quickly they enforce SCA. The FCA has taken the opportunity to show some leniency around the formal 14th September SCA implementation date. But it’s still likely that SCA will drive customer queries and contacts into the contact centres of organisations selling online (but not by phone – phone payments are out of scope).

Ofcom

Giffgaff has been fined £1.4m for inadvertently slightly overcharging millions of customers over many years as result of only transferring people to newly-purchased bundle pricing once their current call or data session had ended

Ofcom’s latest quarterly complaints figures show some improvement from Plusnet, but it’s still showing the negative impacts pf a botched new billing system from months ago.

PSA

The PSA has further penalised Powertel, banning it from operating in the phone-paid space for 5 years, as a result of it not paying its £200,000 fine from last autumn. Powertel’s business model was to buy up brands’ old, disused customer service numbers and point them to a directory enquiries service which charged nearly £7 for connection alone.

It’s also banned Simon Boyle from the industry for 5 years due to his leading role in the activities of Flipcove, which the PSA fined £250,000 in December last year.

Again, it’s been a quiet month for the Fundraising Regulator.

Hear more from the DMA

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