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Cold Calling What Has Really Changed - The Communications Blog - Birchills Telecom

Cold Calling What Has Really Changed - The Communications Blog - Birchills Telecom

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Cold Calling What Has Really Changed

Birchills Telecom
Published by in News ·
The Daily Express headline on Saturday September 6 2018 trumpeted “Cold Calling Misery Ends Today”.

The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and other papers all had similar stories. They were all riffing off a government press release which is here. The press release which is headlined “Tough new measures to end the blight of nuisance calls” is a master piece of misdirection with the government almost claiming to have solved the problem of nuisance calls
Trying to figure out what exactly that meant has proved difficult. I have done the work so now you can actually know what is real.

There is an act of parliament called Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 which has taken some time to be passed through parliament. It is a wide ranging act. The Act has two-parts. Part 1 creates a new arm’s-length single financial guidance body that will replace three existing providers of publicly funded financial guidance – the Money Advice Service (MAS), the Pensions Advisory Service (TPAS) and Pension Wise. It also enables the devolved authorities to be funded to deliver debt advice in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

These measures claim to improve the UK’s financial capability by providing a more joined up service to help people make effective financial decisions, and provide greater  make it simpler for customers by having a single body responsible for all public financial guidance.

Part 2 of the Act strengthens the regulation of Claims Management Companies (CMCs) by transferring the regulation of Claims Management services to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and transfer complaints-handling responsibility to the Financial Ombudsman Service. It will also provide the FCA with fee-capping powers to protect people from excessive fees.

A late amendment called for an amendment to the PECR regulations Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.  The ICO says, “The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) sit alongside the Data Protection Act and the GDPR. They give people specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications.”
This amendment changed the conditions of PECR to require that cold callers offering to settle personal injury claims or sell payment protection insurance will from today be banned from calling people who have not chosen to "opt-in" to receive them. The amended PECR regulations came into effect on September 8.

The level of fines that ICO can levy for breaches is £500K. There is nothing new there.

So that is the reality – an amendment to an Act just passed caused changes to be made to PECR, which in it’s turn allows the ICO to take action against personal injury claims companies who breach the cold calling rules. What happens in the real world on cold calling waits to be seen.

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