DAVID HICKSON's SILENT CALLS BULLETIN

1 March 2006

Ofcom makes a further announcement ..... and continues to do nothing

(See list of Silent Callers below)

The Ofcom press release issued today simply confirms the position as announced last Autumn. There is NOTHING new. (I will cover the points of detail later).

Today's announcement does not, as was promised, include details of the further action that Ofcom will be taking in respect of the companies authorised to make Ofcom-approved Silent Calls in the action taken on 31 October 2005.

The announcement does not include any information about how Ofcom will be using the powers and policy that it has had since December 2003 to cause anyone to cease making Silent Calls.

What Ofcom should do now

I have formally complained to Ofcom since December 2003, providing evidence of 24 different organisations making Silent Calls.

I believe that the all those about whom there is clear evidence should be immediately issued with a formal Notification of persistent misuse by Ofcom simply requiring them to cease making Silent Calls immediately, if they cannot provide a satisfactory answer to the following simple questions:

Are you making (or responsible for the making of) Silent Calls?

If so, how many?

Obtaining the answer to these questions does not require a six month investigation, the collation of many consumer complaints, assessment of the degree of consumer detriment likely to be caused, a review of mitigating factors or any complex considerations of administrative priority. All of this, along with determinations regarding imposition of a financial penalty, can follow if Ofcom finds it necessary to consider the second step of an Enforcement Notification.

I know that Ofcom has evidence that warrants the direct presentation of these questions to the following organisations:

The Silent Callers

Public Sector

Voluntary Sector Operations

Specialist Call Centre Operators

Others

I know that Ofcom also holds, or has available to it, evidence about eight other Silent Callers.

I suspect that Ofcom has a great deal of other evidence as well.

Other ways of taking action against these organisations

I wish to see the public body charged with protecting the public interest deal with this matter properly - I do not wish to see a "trial by media". As many of the organisations listed above have public reputations and I have taken reasonable steps to notify them of my concern about this matter, I am content for this list to be published.

My contact details

You can contact me for advice, information or anything else at:

Silent {dot} Calls @ ntlworld {dot} com