December 2006

Note: I hope to have a number of developments to cover in December.

Update - Tuesday 12 December 2006

At last we see Ofcom's new policy in action. It is even worse than expected.

This matter must now be reviewed by the Trade and Industry Select Committee of parliament as Ofcom is in clear breach of its duties.

A few points from the announcement today and the publication of the 3 November Notifications.

1. Ofcom has decided not to use its enforcement powers to impose enforceable requirements on the four companies to end their misuse.

2. Despite the scope of the misdemeanours of Carphone Warehouse, and their probable (although unpublished) scale, it is not to be subject to any financial penalty.

3. Toucan was not even making Silent Calls, but falls within the category of Ofcom's action.

4. These four companies were selected for action because of the number of complaints about their failure to respect the TPS, not the likely degree of nuisance caused by their Silent Calling.

This is a disgrace.

Update - Thursday 7 December 2006

Ofcom has lost its race with the Information Commissioner's Office to be the first to use Enforcement powers in relation to the major issues of public concern.

As reported in earlier Bulletins, the ICO is responsible for enforcing respect for the Telephone Preference Service and specific requests not to receive unsolicited marketing calls. Until now, its powers to do this had never been used.

Before Ofcom was able to use its Enforcement powers for the first time, following the 3 November pre-enforcement Notifications, the ICO has leapt in and won the race by issuing Enforcement Notifications against a number of companies.

This was covered by a press release of 6 December 2006.

Detail of the action taken may be found on the ICO website.

Celebrations can start for those who have been campaigning on this related issue.

We wait to see if Ofcom will be similarly bold, so that we can all celebrate.


Please contact me for advice, information or anything else at:

Silent {dot} Calls @ ntlworld {dot} com

David Hickson