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HomeServe fined over silent calls

HomeServe faced more damning evidence over its call centres yesterday when the communications regulator, Ofcom, fined the home insurance company £750,000 for making 50,000 silent or abandoned calls to UK households in just two months.

Last year, the group suspended all telephone sales and marketing activity amid concerns about product mis-selling. The Financial Services Authority is still looking at the case.

Now Ofcom has said HomeServe made 14,756 abandoned calls – where the phone rings but, as no call centre staff are available to speak, the line is silent – plus 36,000 repeat calls to homes across one day, between 1 February and 21 March last year.

Ofcom said its fine reflected the steps taken by HomeServe to bring itself into compliance with the rules on silent and abandoned calls, and its offer to compensate consumers.

HomeServe said the problems related to an outsourced call centre, and that it had now brought all of this work in-house. The company said it had reported the problem to Ofcom.