Consumer group Which? has launched an online tool aimed at making it easier for consumers to complain about nuisance calls and texts. Claims management companies and payday lenders and loan brokers are often cited as being responsible for a sizeable proportion of these unwanted communications.
Which? says that only 24% of people know how to go about complaining about a nuisance call, so has launched this new tool in response.
The tool asks consumers to provide information such as:
• Whether they consented to receiving the call or text
• The date and time of the communication
• Whether it was received on a landline or mobile phone
• The name of the provider of the telephone service
• The number on which the communication was received
• The type of communication (normal phone call involving conversation, recorded message, silent call or text)
• The content of the message (e.g. Payment Protection Insurance claims management, accident claims, payday loans, double glazing)
• The name of the caller and their phone number
• Any additional information the consumer wishes to add
Which? then promises to forward the matter to the appropriate regulator.
Which? has campaigned for tougher action to be taken against companies for some time, via its Calling Time campaign. Its taskforce reported to the Government on this issue in December 2014, but since then, it says some 61,500 complaints about nuisance calls and texts have been made to the information watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). It adds that only 2% of people that received nuisance calls go on to complain about them.
The law has recently been tightened so that the ICO can now fine companies simply if calls cause ‘annoyance or inconvenience’, whereas previously it had to demonstrate that the company’s actions had caused material distress. However, Which? is now calling for company executives to be held personally accountable if their organisation breaks the law, and for more companies to publicly commit to tackling the problem.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said:
“Despite a clear action plan from the nuisance calls task force, it’s disappointing that so many unwanted calls and texts are still being received. People are sick of being bombarded with nuisance calls that invade their privacy and waste their time.
“The Government knows what’s required to tackle nuisance calls, so we need to see more sustained action, with senior executives held to account, to help put an end to this everyday menace.”
Companies must not call or text anyone who has indicated that they do not wish to receive marketing communications. They should not call anyone who has registered with the Telephone Preference Service.
The information shown in this article was correct at the time of publication. Articles are not routinely reviewed and as such are not updated. Please be aware the facts, circumstances or legal position may change after publication of the article.