John Hemming's Web Log John's Reference Website
Thursday, September 29, 2005
  Ofcom delay on Silent Calls
What really surprises me about Silent Calls is how little media attention the issue gets.

Hundreds of thousands of people complain about Silent Calls. The issue, however, hardly ever pops above a low level response. When it appears in the media they get a massive response.

I am not quite sure why that is. It may be that the issue is slightly more complex. The reality is that in the USA they have been banned (this does not involve banning predictive diallers). In the UK Ofcom could ban them.

The reason why those people who do Silent Calls don't want to put out a message is that then people would know who is causing the nuisance. This would enable the whole issue to be sorted out quite quickly.

I had a meeting (organised by the magazine CCF) in July where Ofcom attended and promised action by October. They have now delayed to November.

The basic problem here is that it is Ofcom's job to control nuisance. That means coming down like a ton of bricks on offenders. This is not something they have been doing effectively although there have been two investigations.

The irony of it, of course, is that the government do silent calls as well. Many of them are caused by incompetance and a lack of training as people misuse predictive diallers.

The magnitude of this problem is amazing. When I speak to public meetings I find something like a third of people are concerned about them. This goes across the whole of the social spectrum.

I had thought Ofcom were getting on with the job, but now they are saying they are delaying further that does cause some concerns. I will be writing to Alan Johnson about it. The government have done one of their usual meaninless actions to seem to be doing something about the issue by increasing a fine that is never levied. They really need to get the big boots out and kick Ofcom.
 
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