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.