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Regulation Hub Update - February 2020

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

No enforcement actions from the ICO since our last update, so the main focus remains its proposed new Direct Marketing Code of Practice.
Here’s the DMA’s own John Mitchison’s initial thoughts.

The consultation period on the Draft Code is open until 4th March, so all comments and feedback need to be provided to the ICO by then.
As you will probably know, the DMA will be collating members’ views and providing its response, too. Members should let Director of Policy, John Mitchison; Director of External Affairs, Mike Lordan; or Public Affairs Manager, Michael Sturrock know their thoughts by Friday 14th February.

FCA, ICO and FSCS publish joint statement to insolvency practitioners and authorised firms


Some insolvency practitioners and FCA authorised firms have attempted to sell clients' personal data to claims management companies unlawfully. This happens either before or after a firm goes into administration and when claims for compensation will be made to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The statement goes on to explain that by passing personal data, companies may be failing to meet their obligations under the DPA 2018 and GDPR and that any subsequent direct marking calls, texts or emails may breach the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR).
Claims management companies seeking to rely on legitimate interest grounds for processes such data are highly unlikely to meet GDPR and any claims management companies that intend to buy and use this personal data must be able to demonstrate how they have considered the fair treatment of customers and how their actions comply with privacy laws. The ICO and FCA warn will act when breaches are highlighted.

Ofcom has fined the Post Office £175,000. Communication Providers (CPs) like the Post Office’s landline and mobile service, are obliged to offer customers with disabilities access to Relay Services - such as speech-to-text and text-to-speech facilities.
The Post Office did this, but from 2013 to 2018 didn’t provide its disabled customers with the related adjustment in their bills to account for additional time taken when using Relay Services.

Ofcom’s quarterly complaints data show that poor complaint handling performance, rather than intrinsic technical problems, continue to dog Virgin, TalkTalk and Vodafone.

Ovo Energy to pay £8.9 million for communications and billing issues

Ovo Energy has agreed to pay £8.9m for issuing inaccurate or incomplete information to customers, and for under and overcharging customers due to IT issues.
Ovo accepted that, for a period of over five years, failings in its IT systems and compliance processes resulted in too many customers receiving inaccurate or incomplete information and have since put in place measures to make sure this doesn’t happen again, including investments in technology and implementing appropriate compliance procedures.

The investigation found that inaccurate annual statements (which must be issued by all energy firms to provide information on customer plans and costs) were sent to 500,000 customers between July 2015 and February 2018 as well as identifying some customers were over and under charged due to underestimated consumption (customers have been provided with refunds by Ovo.

Ofgem also state that Ovo did not self-report these issues once identified and added ‘the supplier did not prioritise putting these issues right whilst its business was expanding’.

There have been no adjudications or fines from the PSA since last month’s update.

Similarly, nothing of note from the Fundraising Regulator.

And no contact centre news this month from the TPS or the payments world.

Content accurate as of 10th February 2020


Find the latest update here

Previous regulation update:

January 2020 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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