Silent calls fine comes into force

Phone calls

Call centres using predictive dialling systems to contact customers could face fines of up to 2 million as of tomorrow, thanks to new Government legislation.

The silent or abandoned calls consumers often get from companies were already considered a problem and fines of up to 50,000 could be imposed.

However, the new Government has upped this limit by 40 times to drive the message home to businesses using this tactic.

Ed Vaizey, minister for communications, said: "Silent calls are incredibly unnerving, particularly for the elderly and those who live alone."

"Government will not stand by and let firms plague consumers without consequence which is why we have made the maximum penalty for silent calls 40 times larger to reflect the seriousness of the issue."

The move has received the support of Ofcom, which will be responsible for enforcing the fines and trying to discourage companies resorting to such methods.

Ed Richards, chief executive (CEO) of the regulator, said: "The increase reflects the potential seriousness of the harm caused to consumers by the unsolicited and intrusive nature of silent and abandoned calls and enables Ofcom to regulate these activities more effectively."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.