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UK Phone Provider TalkTalk Fined for Silent Phone Calls

By - Source: Ofcom | B 6 comments
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Silent and abandoned calls were a result of two call center operators.

UK phone provider TalkTalk has been fined three quarters of a million pounds for making an excessive number of abandoned and silent calls. Telecoms watchdog Ofcom said that, following an investigation, TalkTalk was found to have exceeded the number of abandoned calls its policies allow. The watchdog defines abandoned calls as the caller hanging up when the recipient picks up the phone. This limit was apparently exceed on four separate occasions between February 1 and March 21, 2011.

Not only was TalkTalk guilty of phoning customers and hanging up, but Ofcom says the company also failed to ensure information messages were played during calls, which meant consumers also received silent phone calls from TalkTalk. The result was a total of 9,000 silent and abandoned phone calls. Ofcom policy also dictates that if companies using answer machine detection technology detect an answering machine, any subsequent calls to that number on that same day should only be made if a call center agent is guaranteed to be able to handle the call. TalkTalk failed to comply with this piece of policy as well.

According to Ofcom the breaches of policy were due to the actions of two call centre operators: Teleperformance Limited and McAlpine Marketing Limited. However, the watchdog says the responsibility to ensure compliance with communication laws and Ofcom policy lies with TalkTalk.

"Ofcom has decided to impose a financial penalty of £750,000 against TalkTalk, which is ultimately responsible for compliance with the law regarding 'persistent misuse of an electronic communications network or electronic communications service' and Ofcom’s policies on abandoned and silent calls," Ofcom said today.

"TalkTalk is therefore ultimately responsible for the actions of the two call centre operators associated with the breach: Teleperformance Limited and McAlpine Marketing Limited."

Ofcom has 30 days to pay the fine.

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  • -2 Hide
    alidan , April 20, 2013 2:28 PM
    failed to post in comments, so i had to go to forum... and for once it didnt give me a "you don't have access" error doing that either

    i dont see the point in the fine...
    are people going "oh no, a telemarketer called, my life is over, let me go over here and slit my wrist to end it all."
    no, at best its a minor annoyance at takes all of 10 seconds to get over, lets assume 10$ an hour is the minimum wage (its not but easy number to use)

    that 10 seconds that a telemarketer takes up is the equivalent of 2-3 cents
    you want to fine them, ok, have them give the people they called 2-3 cents every time it happens.

    9000 time up there it would result in a grand total of 243$
    this is stupidly excessive for a minor annoyance.

    its like going after spammers, who cares, i have a spam filter and it works.
  • -1 Hide
    alidan , April 20, 2013 8:36 PM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    failed to post in comments, so i had to go to forum... and for once it didnt give me a "you don't have access" error doing that either

    i dont see the point in the fine...
    are people going "oh no, a telemarketer called, my life is over, let me go over here and slit my wrist to end it all."
    no, at best its a minor annoyance at takes all of 10 seconds to get over, lets assume 10$ an hour is the minimum wage (its not but easy number to use)

    that 10 seconds that a telemarketer takes up is the equivalent of 2-3 cents
    you want to fine them, ok, have them give the people they called 2-3 cents every time it happens.

    9000 time up there it would result in a grand total of 243$
    this is stupidly excessive for a minor annoyance.

    its like going after spammers, who cares, i have a spam filter and it works.


    ..you're kind of a (bad word removed).


    is my point that its stupidly excessive for a minor annoyance wrong?

  • 2 Hide
    pacomac , April 21, 2013 12:46 AM
    I left Talk Talk due to the number of sales calls from them telling me they could reduce my bills, which they never could. These calls always originated from South Africa which is another reason I left, we can't understand them! I don't think they provide a bad service, but there actions are driving customers away.
  • 0 Hide
    AndreT , April 21, 2013 9:11 AM
    I'm on the FTC national do not call registry. I receive both recorded messages to lower my interest rates (something I can do on my own if I call my credit card company), and also receive many dead air calls. 2 to 3 a day. Early in the morning to late at night. I happen to be required to answer my phone due to my work if the main 'on call' person is not answering the 'on call' phone. Therefore, I could be in a movie, having dinner with my family, in a meeting at the office, at the Dr. office, anywhere, and I'm receiving dead air calls that I have to interrupt what I am doing to take the call. These jerks should be thrown in jail, not just given a slap on the wrist. They shouldn't be calling my cell phone in the first place (it's illegal here in the US) not to mention I'm on the do not call registry. It's started to cost me real money as I have had to enable a plan option on my phone to start allowing me to block incoming calls. That feature cost's $60.00 per year. They just change the caller ID on the incoming call to get around this. I'm up to 29 #'s in my block list and 30 is the limit. Now Alidan, want to tell me again how I should just get over it?
  • 0 Hide
    Sam Hain , April 21, 2013 8:05 PM
    Had TalkTalk from 2009-2011 when I lived in the UK... Archaic and expensive billing, not much unlike UK utilities in general. Glad they got caught with their d!ck-beaters in the cookie jar.
  • 0 Hide
    devBunny , April 22, 2013 12:49 PM
    "The result was a total of 9,000 silent and abandoned phone calls."

    So few? Lol. I've certainly had my share of that 9000.

    @alidan: "is my point that its stupidly excessive for a minor annoyance wrong?"

    I don't agree with your point. The number of people complaining about Talk Talk on phone nuisance/query sites such as "WhoCallsMe" will show you that it's not a minor annoyance for many people but a most unwelcome and often repeated intrusion. If anything I'd like Talk Talk to have a bigger slap on the wrist, enough for them to really sit up and pay attention.