Abbey fined £30,000 for silent calls
Friday 21 March 2008
Abbey, the UK bank owned by Spain's Santander, is being fined £30,000 by the telecoms watchdog for causing distress to its customers with silent marketing calls.
The problem occurs when an automatic dialling system rings a large number of people simultaneously, and too many pick up for them all to be connected to an agent. The phenomenon can be upsetting, particularly for older people, and Ofcom can fine offending companies up to £50,000 if more than 3 per cent of a marketing campaign is made up of silent calls within any 24-hour period.
Abbey's penalty is for exceeding that limit on 73.7 per cent of the days between October 2006 and April 2007.
The company says it has now sorted out the problem.
"As part of an ongoing process of improvements, we identified during the summer that management and process controls were not as robust as they should be in respect of our outbound calls," a spokesman said. "Both have been changed and since August we have been working within the guidelines."
The bank is not the first company to have fallen foul of Ofcom's silent-calls rules. In January last year, Carphone Warehouse was fined £35,000 and Toucan, another communications company, was penalised to the tune of £32,000. Two kitchen companies, Space Kitchens and Bracken Bay Kitchens, were also ordered to pay £45,000 and £40,000 respectively. Though the level of fine that can be levied is limited, it still acts as a deterrent, says the regulator.
"This sends an extremely strong signal that unacceptable levels of silent calls will not be tolerated because they have the potential to cause significant distress," a spokesman for Ofcom said.
The guidelines were established in 2006, following reports from BT that it was receiving 80,000 complaints every month from irritated customers.
- 1 Scottish independence: Ireland since 1919 is a lesson for Scotland in what a Yes vote means
- 2 Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 3 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 4 Julian Assange and Edward Snowden join piracy mogul Kim Dotcom’s political campaign in New Zealand
Thailand deaths: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: Police will be on high alert on Friday whatever the result
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
iJobs Money & Business
£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...
£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...