TPS press release: Five-fold increase in TPS applications as new legislation approaches
02 Apr 2015
There has been a five-fold surge in the volume of companies seeking TPS licences in March as the legal threshold for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take enforcement action against telemarketers that breach the rules is lowered in April.
This change will make it significantly easier for the ICO to fine rogue telemarketers.
Telemarketers are required by law to screen their call activity against the TPS database, and exclude those TPS subscribers, unless they have the subscriber’s explicit permission to make unsolicited calls.
According to head of the TPS John Mitchison, “It is a legal requirement to screen unsolicited telemarketing calls against the TPS database. From 6 April 2015, the threshold for enforcement action by the Information Commissioner’s Office will be lowered and those that flout the law should expect to be face action, including penalties of up to £500,000.
“The TPS welcomes these new companies, who are behaving responsibly by screening their telemarketing activity. For those yet to register with the TPS, it’s not too late.
“We urge those companies who continue to call people listed on the TPS database to follow these new applicants and protect themselves from the risk of enforcement action at the earliest opportunity,” he said.
It should be noted that it is not enough for companies to claim they have permission to call TPS-registered consumers if they cannot provide evidence of that permission. In addition, ignorance of the law is no defence in law.
In a typical month, around six companies will apply for a TPS licence. In March to-date, 31 companies have registered, a 417% increase.
Tim Bond, head of group PR
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The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a central opt out register whereby individuals can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.
The original legislation was introduced in May 1999. It has subsequently been updated and now the relevant legislation is the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.