Cold call complaints rocket in the past year as people object to abandoned marketing callsPhone users registering their numbers to avoid marketing calls have increased with 73 per cent
20:29 GMT, 29 November 2012
Complaints about unwanted phone calls have rapidly increased over the past year, it emerged today.
Grievances regarding silent or abandoned calls have increased by nearly 300 per cent since October last year, regulator Ofcom revealed.
Complaints to the Telephone Preference
Service – the register of phone users not wanting marketing calls – have
increased by around 73 per cent from 4,062 to 7,019.
No thanks: Complaints about unwanted marketing calls have increased with 73 per cent since last year
Ofcom received 1,136 complaints over silent or abandoned calls in October last year, a figure which peaked at 3,390 this July.
The October 2012 figures were slightly lower at 2,603 complaints, but this is still a 130 per cent increase on the same month last year.
But grievances about other issues relating to phone companies have gone down, Ofcom said.
Mis-selling complaints about companies providing landlines have fallen by 45 per cent from 761 in October last year to 523 last month and similar complaints relating to mobile phones have fallen from 280 to 234.
Objections about early termination fees when householders switch firm fell slightly – from 163 to 152.
Complaints about the way grievances are resolved have also increased from 843 to 917 over the past year.
Tougher times: Ofcom is expecting fewer complaints about marketing companies silent or cold calling after recent actions
Ofcom said yesterday it expected fewer complaints in future about silent or abandoned calls after taking tougher action against marketing companies.
It said in a report that it had introduced new requirements to stamp out repeat silent calls – where phone users receive more than one silent call from the same company.
It said: 'The new requirements will prevent a company using answer machine detection technology more than once a day if an answer machine is 'detected' on the first attempt.
'If companies are found to be in breach of the requirements, Ofcom can take enforcement action, including fining companies up to 2million-pounds.”
Ofcom took action against the firm HomeServe earlier this year. The company was fined 750,000-pounds for persistent misuse of an electronic communications network or service. The regulator is still investigating npower and TalkTalk.
An Ofcom spokesman said : 'We remain committed to working to increase awareness among consumers about our work on silent calls and, where we find there to be systematic breaches of our regulations, we will exercise our powers and take appropriate action.'