Ofcom going after TalkTalk over allegations of 'persistent' silent calls

14 October 2011

TalkTalkTalkTalk could be staring down the barrel of a £2m fine after being chided by Ofcom for bothering customers with silent calls earlier this year.

If you don't know, silent calls are caused by automated systems which are used in call centres to generate and attempt to connect calls. Alas, if there's not enough call centre workers to handle connected calls, the person on the other end of the phone is rewarded with absolute silence.

Essentially, TalkTalk have been doing a very good impression of nuisance sex-calls. Well done them.

Officially, Ofcom guidelines state that call centres doing this should play an information message if a call is abandoned. Sadly for TalkTalk, Ofcom have "reasonable grounds" to believe that in February and March this year TalkTalk persistently made silent calls to customers.

TalkTalk have 'til the middle of November to respond to allegations. If the regulator isn't happy, they could well hit TalkTalk with a £2m fine.

Of course, TalkTalk are chucking the blame sideways, saying that these silent calls are down to a South African company and a sales agency based in Britain. In a statement it said: "TalkTalk no longer works with these sales agencies and, if Ofcom imposes a financial penalty, we will recover this sum from the third party responsible."

Ofcom are pretty serious about silent calls. They've threatened npower and HomeServe with £2m pound fines over summer.

This is a rough year for TalkTalk, as they recently got the dubious honour of being the most complained about telephone and broadband provider as well as being slapped with a £3m fine for incorrectly billing 65,000 customers for services they had not received.

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