New Ofcom and TPS service allows mobile users to opt out of sales calls
Ofcom and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) have launched a text service allowing mobile users to easily opt out of sales and marketing calls
Mobile phone users can now send a free text message to opt out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls.
The service, launched jointly Ofcom and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), allows mobile phone users to add their number to the UK's official ‘do not call’ database by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 78070.
They will receive a text reply from the TPS confirming their number has been added to its database.
It is illegal for organisations to make unsolicited sales and marketing calls to numbers registered with the TPS without a person’s consent, although registering does not prevent spam text messages.
According to Ofcom, those who register should notice a gradual reduction in unsolicited sales and marketing calls after a few days, although it can take up to 28 days for the service to become fully effective.
A study commissioned by Ofcom and the UK Information Commissioner’s Office found people registered with the TPS saw a 31 per cent reduction in the monthly volume of live sales and marketing calls.
Only 2.9m mobile numbers, around 3 per cent, are registered on the TPS database, compared with 18.5m or 85 per cent of landline numbers.
Ofcom research found that only 48 per cent of people familiar with the TPS were aware that mobile numbers can be registered compared with 88 per cent for landline numbers.
By introducing the quick and easy text-to-register process, the TPS and Ofcom aim to raise awareness of the service among mobile users.
John Mitchison, Head of the Telephone Preference Service, said: “Rogue callers operate illegally and against the interests of ordinary people.
“Texting will make it easier for people to register their mobile numbers on the TPS, which is the only official no-call list, and help us stamp out rogue callers once and for all by giving the Information Commissioner more ammunition to prosecute these cases.”
Baroness Neville Rolfe, the UK Government minister responsible for data protection, said: “Nuisance calls are incredibly intrusive and can cause significant distress, particularly to elderly and vulnerable members of society.
“Government is committed to tackling this problem, and we have introduced a series of measures that have already seen record fines handed out to combat these rogue callers.
“This new service from the TPS and Ofcom will help protect people with mobile phones, making it easier for them to register via text and opt out of the call list."
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