DMA renews push for government nuisance calls consultation following new report on TPS effectiveness

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) has renewed its call for government to hold its promised nuisance calls consultation following today’s (24 July) Ofcom/ICO report on the effectiveness of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) in stopping nuisance calls.

According to the findings of the research, TPS is “highly effective” at stopping calls to consumers registered on TPS by legitimate telemarketing companies.

However, the report also reveals that TPS-registered consumers still receive on average 2.5 nuisance calls per month.

The DMA has used the findings of the research to raise concerns that the industry and consumers now have to wait “until at least autumn” for the consultation, which was first suggested by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in March.

The consultation would look at making legislative changes needed to combat nuisance calls and spam texts by lowering the current legal threshold of proof required to fine lawbreakers.

The DMA has warned that rising numbers of consumer complaints about nuisance calls will continue to increase for as long as the government delays plans to make it easier to clamp down on rogue companies breaking the law.

Mike Lordan, the DMA's director of external affairs commented: "TPS’s effectiveness in stopping live nuisance calls shows that the system works well to ensure that legitimate companies respect the contact preferences of consumers.

“However, TPS cannot stop nuisance calls made by rogue operators that flout the law. The ICO has the power to deal with wrongdoers, but legislation needs to change for them to flex their muscles."

Currently, the ICO must demonstrate "significant damage or distress" caused to individuals by nuisance calls or spam texts in order to issue monetary penalties of up to £500,000.

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