Skip to main content

End of Silent Calls?

The story so far: When calling companies use predictive dialers (whether it is for TPS unregistered cold calling or any other calling system) they at times (and it can be quite a few times) end up when someone answers the phone and they don't have an "agent" available.

These "no agent available" (NAA) calls are what are known as "silent calls". Statutory Intrument 2003/2426 "The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003" makes it clear that recorded messages for marketing purposes are unacceptable. However, an Informational Message which explains why the call is silent is lawful.

Yesterday I had a meeting (conference call) with Ofcom in which these issues were discussed. Ofcom clearly cannot supplant the role of the courts. However, noone present thought the Informational Message approach was unlawful. In fact it is one of the issues Ofcom are thinking about in terms of getting rid of silent calls.

There is a further problem which creates more urgency at the moment which is that BT are marketing the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in a forceful manner. Previously the rate of registrations would have led the whole of the UK to have been registered by 2009. BT's privacy campaign has accelerated the whole process.

TPS registration will, however, not stop silent calls. All it would do is to stop the sort of cold calling from the EU that is prevented by the TPS. This would not stop marketing calls (which can essentially be cold calls) from people such as BT (where people have given some form of permission to be contacted). If call centres used predictive diallers (power diallers) there will still be NAA calls at some level.

The point about "silent calls" is that because they are silent (and often there is no CLI (1471 - Caller Line Identification) it worries many recipients thinking someone is "casing the joint".

So we are now in a position in which call centres can stop the silent call. Ofcom are working on detailed proposals which will look at the levels of NAA calls and deal with expensive CLI numbers (premium number scams).

However, call centres could stop the silent call tomorrow. This would be by implementing the two key things that stop worry. Firstly, the Informational Message and secondly by using CLI. Clearly they also need to tune the software to reduce the proportion of calls that are NAA. Life is such that, however, there will always be a small number of NAA calls unless people don't use predictive diallers.

Ofcom have asked that any call centre using Informational Messages as a pilot scheme should tell Ofcom so that they know what is going on.


Popular posts from this blog

Statement re false allegations from Esther Baker

Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

Statement re Police investigation into Harassment and Perverting the Course of Justice.

It was recently reported that the police were not investigating the allegations of Perverting the Course of Justice that I had made. This came as a surprise to me as I had been told for some time that my allegations were to be considered once the VRR had been rejected. I have now had a very constructive meeting with Staffordshire police on Friday 29th June 2018 and the misunderstandings have been resolved. At that meeting the evidence relating to the perversion of the course of justice and the harassment campaign against my family were discussed. The police have decided to investigate both the perversion of the course of justice and also the harassment campaign. I would like to thank them for changing their decision and I accept their apology for the way in which they did that. I am also in possession of written confirmation a police force would be investigating allegations that a vulnerable witness has been harassed for trying to expose the campaign against me. I hope that the aut…

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).


R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…