TEN Years since Kevin Brennan MP first brought the subject of ‘silent calls’ to the House of Commons, a major company has been fined £750,000 for breaching the tougher regulations brought in as a result of the Cardiff West MP’s bill.
Ofcom has fined home insurance and repairs company HomeServe £750,000 after the firm made over 14,000 silent and abandoned calls to UK households.
Under rules brought in following a campaign by Mr Brennan, companies are banned from making abandoned and silent calls, with a particular restriction on making repeated calls to the same telephone number in a 24 hour period.
Companies can now be fined up to £2m compared with only £5,000 when the Kevin’s campaign started.
“I first brought this to the House ten years ago after several constituents contacted me expressing deep concern about the amount of silent calls they had been receiving.
“Silent calls can be deeply distressing because many people do not realise they are from marketing companies and think they are receiving malicious calls.
“I secured a debate on Marketing Calls in 2002 and brought in a subsequent bill on Silent Calls in 2004 following which resulted in tougher regulations being brought in.
“My bill was designed to take the side of the consumer and put financial pressure on the industry to clean up its act by heavily penalising those who show little concern for the misery caused by their silent calls.
“Although it did not have time to become law, the pressure of the campaign led to a series of new regulations.
“I am pleased these regulations have now resulted in a major offender receiving a heavy fine and I hope Ofcom continue to use these powers to punish those companies that abuse the rules for their own financial or commercial gain.”
If you are getting silent calls you can visit the Ofcom website at www.ask.ofcom.org.uk for help and advice.