TalkTalk Fined For Silent Marketing Calls
Telecommunications provider TalkTalk has been fined £750,000 by the industry regulator for making an excessive number of abandoned and silent calls.
Ofcom said the company had made 9,000 such calls to potential customers between February 1 and March 21 2011 through two of its call centre operators.
Its investigation found that TalkTalk exceeded the limit of abandoned calls organisations can make four times in 2011 during a single telemarketing campaign.
It also failed, Ofcom said, to ensure that information messages were played, meaning consumers received silent calls.
Ofcom said TalkTalk was ultimately responsible for the actions of the two call centre operators associated with the breach, Teleperformance Limited and McAlpine Marketing Limited.
The regulator's consumer group director, Claudio Pollack, said: "Silent and abandoned calls can cause annoyance and distress to consumers.
"Companies must abide by the law and Ofcom's policies. If they fail to do so then Ofcom will take firm action.
"Today's penalty sends out a strong message to organisations using call centres that they must comply or face the consequences."
A TalkTalk spokesman added: "TalkTalk demands high standards from the companies it works with and as a result TalkTalk immediately stopped using these suppliers.
"Both suppliers addressed the root cause of the problem and TalkTalk will fully recover the financial penalty imposed by Ofcom from these companies.
"TalkTalk works with all its partners to ensure that regulations are adhered to and that customers continue to get good service and best value."