Calling all clients, partners and fellow members of the outbound marketing industry…Many of you have not yet seen the latest consultation released by OFCOM so as it stands, the laws that govern our industry are set to change. However, it’s not too late – we have 8 weeks left to submit feedback to the changes – so have your say, and we could help to stop the potentially crippling effects on the outbound call centre industry.
OFCOM are calling for a number of changes, including the ability to take enforcement action where a caller makes more than three abandoned calls. This could lead your call centre open to fines of up to £2 million. The body are also calling for a blanket ban on Silent Calls, with a zero-tolerance policy to any breaches of this ban. OFCOM also want to see a reduction in the permitted drop-call rate, which currently sits at 3%, to either a lower percentage, or a flat number in any given 24-hour period.
The changes would also see a complete ban on Answer Machine Detection (AMD) and a ban on Local Number Presentation (Localised CLI). There would also be a cap on the amount of times you can call a client, and an introduction of defined times that you are allowed to make calls. More details, as well as actual statements from the consultation, can be found on this post from our Senior Project Manager, Daniel St Clair.
Up until now, it’s been a lack of input from the outbound marketing and collections industries that has led to these changes being suggested. OFCOM currently claim that they are unable to accurately assess the financial damage that the proposed changes would have – because they receive very little input from businesses.
The proposed changes have been based on this limited volume of evidence submitted by call centre companies; simply put, not enough of us have spoken up or raised concerns, meaning that the conclusions drawn are likely to have many negative impacts to our sector. Negative impacts to which OFCOM are currently able to turn a blind eye.
Fortunately, we have a small window in which to act. Although OFCOM have consistently stated they have little evidence on the impact these changes will have, the call centre industry can change this – we can submit this evidence via this link. A lack of input will see the changes implemented over the course of the coming years, but if enough of us make OFCOM aware of the crippling effects the new regulations would have, these changes will not proceed without reassessment.
We know how many of you working in the call centre and outbound marketing industries will be financially affected. You need to let OFCOM know how, and by how much. If you don’t, there’s a sure bet that they’ll assume the changes won’t affect you and they’ll proceed as planned. You only have until the 24th of February 2016 to respond, so submit your feedback today and help stop the change that could cause irreparable damage to our industry.