No more silent phonecalls say Ofcom

23 October 2009


There's almost nothing as infuriating as some idiot ringing you up when you're having your tea and trying to sell you tat. The only thing that grinds my gears more is when it's some automated service - especially that one with the foghorn and the sea-captain.

Like all automated things, they often don't work, and instead of hearing a badly recorded message, you get absolutely nothing, giving the impression that a robot has rung you up and forgotten that it isn't able to do the whole heavy-breathing thing.

Concerning the latter, companies that pester us with these silent calls could be facing eye-watering fines of up to £2m under government proposals unveiled today.

So what causes these silent calls? Well, basically, call centres use machines to ring large numbers of people in one swoop. Numbers are dialled automatically and customers are meant to be connected with a human when they pick up. However, if all the lines are busy, the line is silent.

Ofcom gets around 400 complaints a month about this and, worryingly, it seems that these people are targeting pensioners, as Ofcom found that 35% of over-65s had received silent calls in the six months to June.

As it stands, Ofcom can fine companies up to £50,000 if they persistently make silent calls, but the government is proposing the maximum be increased to £2m.

A few years back, Carphone Warehouse got slapped with a fine of  £35,000 for irritating everyone and last September, Barclaycard got the maximum fine of £50,000 for the same thing. There is a solution too. To reduce silent calls, you can register your telephone number by ringing 0844 372 2325 while the Telephone Preference Service on 0845 070 0707 allows people to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales or marketing calls. I hope they don't sell your information on to other companies...

[The Guardian]

TOPICS:   Mobile


  • Gareth H.
    "Ofcom found that 35% of over-65s had received silent calls in the six months to June." no offence, but surely this is because they lounge about all day watching bowling. the oap's only leave the house early morning when your trying to get to work, at lunchtime in the queue to buy your sandwiches and dinner time when your heading back from work.! course they are going to pick up the phone!
  • David
    Maybe these calls are not really silent? Just that the OAPs in the survey are a bit deaf and think they are?
  • Shadow
    You can also do it online
  • In f.
    It's me. I ring you and then sit there and wait.... It's nice. You smell nice. I like watching you while you listen to me being silent. You turn me on.
  • The B.
    Ofcom can fine companies up to £50,000 OFCOM CAN, not do, can, Ofcom are in the pockets of the Communications industry, give me an example of when any of the [Office Of Bloody Stupid Naming Conventions] has ever fined anybody for anything that mattered at all. The boards of the overseeing office are made up of ex-employees from the sector because they have "industry knowledge". Apparently no one in the government can see any sort of bias in having an ex MD of BT as the person that regulates BT?
  • fuckcraftmatic
    I wish they fucking would fine bastards like craftmatic who phone me 6 days a week anytime between 8am-9pm. Scumbags.

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