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Regulation Hub Update - December 2019


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

  • For the second month running there have been no enforcement actions from the ICO.
  • However, there has been an interesting example of how one rogue claims management call centre has seen its fine increase by £10,000. In January this year (as we explained in our February Update), Alistar Green Legal Services (AGLS) was fined £80,000 for calling TPS numbers during 2017. SGLS appealed the ICO’s fine, but at the First Tier Tribunal hearing in Wigan, its penalty was upheld and – in light of additional damning evidence – increased. Decision Marketing has the full story here.
  • It seems that the hopes we shared in the last Update about the final text of the new ePrivacy Regulation being agreed before the end of the year were a bit premature. Word on the Brussels streets is that it won’t now be finalised until 2020 – and so the implications on the Existing PECR rules, the UK’s Brexit status after the general election and other related issues are anyone’s guess…

In October, the Financial Conduct Authority published its interim report on its market study of pricing across Home and Motor Insurance

  • Chris Woolard, Executive Director of Strategy and Competition at the FCA commented ‘this market is not working well for all consumers. While a large number of people shop around, many loyal customers are not getting a good deal. We believe this affects around 6 million customers’
  • Most notably, the FCA found that at least 1 in 3 of the consumers who paid high premiums showed at least 1 characteristic of consumer vulnerability (such characteristics include lower financial capability)
  • Firms included in the market study were engaging in a range of practices to raise barriers to switching
  • The FCA is considering a number of actions and remedies which may include measures to control pricing and guidance on communicating with consumers in a transparent way.

Nothing on the enforcement front from the Phone-Paid Services Authority (PSA) since our November update. However, more importantly, the Authority’s new rules are now live which mandate that phone subscription services must:

Use a 2-stage sign up process – thus making deceptive or hidden sign-ups virtually impossible

Provide greater clarity to consumers – most current complaints to the PSA are from consumers saying they had no idea they signed up for a subscription service

Provide a receipt after every payment is made – which again should stop the unnoticed payments of a few pounds per month that consumers often fail to notice

The new rules are here and the PSA offers compliance guidance for companies via

The Fundraising Regulator's 2018-19 Annual Report has been published. It reveals that

5% of in-scope fundraising charities still haven’t registered with the Regulator

Less than 9,00 fundraising opt-out requests for the Fundraising Preference Service (FPS) were received over 12 months

757 consumer complaints about charity fundraising were resolved by the Fundraising Regulator

The DMA’s survey on SMEs attitudes to and experience of the GDPR has now closed, but we await the findings which should be a useful supplement to its recent Data Privacy: An Industry Perspective research paper.

Nothing of note for contact centres this month from Ofcom, the TPS or the payments world.

If you’d like to know more about the key regulators and their role in contact centre compliance you can download this DMA guide written by the Contact Centre Council.

Find the latest update here

Previous regulation update:

November 2019 Update

More from the Contact Centre Council:

The Future of the Contact Centre

Outbound Telemarketing Campaigns Guide

Is your contact centre ready for changes to the European Payment Services Directive?

Hear more from the DMA

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