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Regulation Hub Update - July 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.

ICO

Just when you thought it was safe to break the rules with your marketing, the ICO has taken its first enforcement action in three months and fined Decision Technologies £90,000. Decision Tech’s infringement of the PECR rules was related to 14 million direct marketing emails without the recipients’ permission back in 2017 and 2018.

The Government has recently updated its guidance on returning to work in offices and contact centres.

£64m fine for Lloyds’ failure to treat mortgage customers fairly

Lloyds has been hit by a £64m fine and has had to pay out £300m in compensation to over half a million mortgage customers. Between 2011 and 2015, these customers were in financial difficulty and/or vulnerable, but rigid practises in Lloyds' contact centre around mortgage collections meant that many were not treated fairly.

Collections re-start

Ofgem has ended its Covid crisis moratorium on energy suppliers' collections efforts to get unpaid bills paid. However, Ofgem's CEO has warned, “We will not tolerate sharp practice or aggressive debt collection and suppliers could face enforcement action where this is the case.”

New customer service standards for energy suppliers
Meanwhile, Ofgem's final proposals to help raise the performance and customer service standards of suppliers have been published (these are an extension of standards already imposed on new market entrants). You can comment on the proposals through Ofgem’s consultation, which is running until next month.

Check: Test & Trace

Ofcom has given guidance to the public in anticipation of fraudsters exploiting the NHS Test & Trace scheme. We’re not sure if that will help much…

Quarterly Complaints Data – No complaints from Vodafone

We mentioned Ofcom's quarterly complaints data in our last update. Ofcom has since adjusted some of the figures, which is good news for Vodafone.

Number Look-Up: firm fined £1m

The PSA has fined Salvatet Inversiones SL £1,000,000 for breaking various premium rate number rules. Salvatet ran a 'number look up' service, which used a wide range of Google Ads-promoted landing pages (including: www.taxphonenumbers.com, www.uk-customerservices.com, www.ukfinancialnumbers.com, www.uk-telephonenumbers.com, www.uk-contactnumbers.com, www.energy-phonenumbers.com, www.call-phonenumbers.com, www.ukairlinephonenumbers.com, www.couriersphonenumbers.com, www.uk-appointments.com, www.connectionphone24h.com, www.ukcontactnumbers.com).
The sites offered consumers a 'service' to access customer service numbers of big organisations,' but if they connected to big brands via the redirection service, the calls cost £3.60 per minute (something that was frequently unclear to confused customers).

The PSA has also ordered further sanctions on the owner of Best VIP Games,’Inter Inventory Company Ltd, after it failed to pay its £375,000 fine imposed in 2019.

The Fundraising Regulator has teamed up with the Institute of Fundraising to produce guidance for charities looking to re-start fundraising activities as they look to move on from the Covid era, especially with public and door-to-door campaigns.

No contact centre news this month from the TPS or in the world of payments.

Content accurate as of 9thJuly 2020.


Find the latest update here

Previous regulation update:

June 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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