Ofcom make some noise over silent calls

24 November 2008

Ah, silent phonecalls at half past three in the morning. The classic sign that either your wife is having an affair, you're having an affair, or your home number has found its way onto a telemarketing database.

Given that complaints about silent calls have tripled in the past year, then either there are plenty more folk indulging in extra-marital rounds of Hide the Sausage, or telemarketing is becoming even more of a nuisance. Since it's Ofcom involved in dealing with the complaints and not Relate, we'll assume it's the latter.

From September 2007 to September 2008, the number of consumer complaints received by Ofcom rose from around 300 per month to around 1,050 per month. As a result, Ofcom is beefing up regulations on the matter, and has recently taken actions against the likes of both Abbey and Barclaycard over the calls, which occur when a company's automated system dials your number, but there are no agents available at their end to deal with the call.

So there may be nobody talking, but it seems Ofcom are listening.

[Marketing Week]

3 comments

  • andy y.
    Bring Bring ...Bring Bring Hello? ... ... ... ... ... ... ... "Allo is dat meester Andi? I am dhoni and I calling yew from de Ofeaces Ov Der Prazident ov Sultan Kind of Leagosville" please die
  • LRGM
    OK, the real tip to avoid a silent call is to answer it properly. Many automated diallers rely on Answer Machine technology that is based on the timing it takes to pick up a phone and then answer. Many of us have DECT or Mobile phones, where you just press green and say hello. This is exactly what an answerphone does, and your call will be dropped. So, pick up the phone, wait 3 seconds then say "Hello", this way you will able to speak to an actual person and THEN ask them to stop the calls. My top tip for this is to know whether to say "I am not a homeowner" or "I had only just got a new mobile" - in my opinion this should eliminate about 80% of calls launched to the uk from offshores at the moment and even save you listening to the whole pitch. I appreciate that this doesnt stop it where there are not enough agents available, but I hope this helps some of you.
  • How B.
    [...] reported recently on the scourge of the silent telemarketing call, and what regulators Ofcom are doing to ensure your viewing of I’m A Celebrity isn’t [...]

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