Labour MP Bill Esterson calls for clampdown on nuisance phone co

Bill Esterson



Sefton Central Labour MP Bill Esterson said urgent action needs to be taken to stop nuisance telephone cold callers harassing people, after he was contacted by a Maghull pensioner who said she is being hounded by marketing calls.


The woman, who is over 80 and lives on her own, receives countless calls to her home day in and day out.

She has meticulously been logging the phone numbers from the calls and has turned to MP Bill Esterson for help.

Bill is now urging the Information Commissioner to take action in dealing with the problem and the government to clamp down on the problem.

Bill said: "This lady's experience is not unique. She is over 80, she lives on her own and she is very ill. But despite this, these cold calling companies continue to target her.

"She has done the right thing in logging the calls, and I will be passing this information on to the Information Commissioner and calling for urgent action.

"These companies are making people's lives a misery and they must be stopped."

Bill said the law surrounding telephone cold callers was failing to tackle the problem.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 prohibits the use of communications comprising recorded matters for direct marketing purposes by means of an automated calling system. There is an exception to this prohibition where the called line is that of a subscriber.

The same 2003 regulation prohibits unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes. There are exceptions where a subscriber is listed in the Telephone Preference Service register or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service register but has notified a caller that he does not, for the time being object to such calls being made on that line by that caller. Where a subscriber is listed in the Telephone Preference Service register or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service register and has notified a caller that he does not object to such calls he is free to withdraw that notification at any time. A person will not be treated as having contravened the regulations where the number allocated to the called line has been listed on the Telephone Preference Service register or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service register for less than 28 days preceding that on which the call is made.

Where cold calling is permitted the caller is required to provide their name and, if requested by the subscriber, either their address or telephone number on which they can be reached free of charge.

The Corporate Telephone Preference Service is a free service that allows people to register to not receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. However, the system is not foolproof.

Bill said: "It is clear to me that the laws surrounding telephone marketing are being circumvented by some unscrupulous companies.

"The Corporate Telephone Preference Service is a step that people can take, but people still complain that they are receiving calls despite registering.

"There needs to be a concerted effort to clampdown on the companies that break the law.

"They are making many people's lives a misery and I will be calling on the government to do all they can to bring an end to this type of practice."

 

 

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