Barclaycard fined for silent calls

Ofcom has fined Barclaycard the maximum possible £50,000 for silent calling – the practice of using autodiallers to call phone numbers but not connecting the line to a call centre operative because they’re busy.

On this topic, my experience is that cracks are beginning to appear in the Telephone Preference Service. After a year or two of peace and quiet, I now typically receive 2-3 unsolicited automated calls to my home phone number which is ex-directory but registered with TPS. Of course the calls don’t indicate the CLI number. The bulk are trying to flog debt consolidation services, and whilst I’ve never listened to the tape for long enough to find out who’s calling, I’ll bet they’re UK companies: what we’re witnessing is a downturn where the commercial ‘benefits’ of complying with data protection laws and respecting privacy (and those benefits are normally very hard to quantify) are dwarfed by the commercial opportunities to sell certain services. Such an attitude is abhorrent but a fact of life – sometimes it’s a better business decision to ignore the regulations and pay the fines if they come your way.

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My way to resolve this problem is to sign up for an extra BT service called Anonymous Call rejection (ACR). It's not well publicised (and, when I signed up a few years ago, was not available from NTL now Virgin, may not be available from LLU providers) ACR kills most silent calls dead and a lot of other telemarketing (at least all UK ones). Foreign based ones still get through The only disadvantage is that some major company/government switchboards don't give out CLI, and are also rejected. The best way round that is to give a mobile contact number (telemarketers call mobiles much more rarely due to cost) NB: Has anyone noticed an *increase* in calls after registering with TPS? I registered my mother on the TPS/FPS website and calls went up (and she never responds to surveys, competitions etc that would get her name on a list) Miles
Interesting - that was exactly my experience when I signed up. My understanding is that TPS allows users to check whether a number is in it, rather than to extract a list of numbers. Can anyone shine a light on this?
For cold calls which result in a human, my current tactic is to go "hmm.... yes... I see... mm hmm..." for a while, then gently put the phone down and tiptoe away. I have no idea what happens after that - but if you try to call us in the evening and it's engaged, I'm not necessarily gassing away to someone ;^)