Telephone marketing (Regulations 21 and 24)

How do the Regulations apply to telephone marketing?

The Regulations restate the 1999 Regulations with respect to marketing by telephone, with two significant changes. First, from 11 December 2003, corporate subscribers have had an enforceable right to opt out of receiving marketing calls, which they can exercise by asking the caller to stop making further marketing calls to a particular number or particular numbers. Second, and with effect from 25 June 2004, corporate subscribers have been allowed to register their numbers on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

This is what the law requires:

If any subscriber has told you to stop making telesales calls to their number, you must comply with that request (Regulation 21(1)(a) applies).

You must not make or instigate the making of unsolicited telesales calls to any number listed on the TPS register (Regulation 21(1)(b) applies).

TPS registration takes 28 days to come into force. Calls may be made to a number during the registration period unless an opt-out request has also been made to the caller (see 1 above) (Regulation 21(3) applies).

You may make or instigate the making of unsolicited telesales calls to a TPS-registered subscriber if that subscriber has notified you that, for the time being, they do not object to receiving such calls on that TPS-registered number (Regulation 21(4) applies).

A subscriber can withdraw that overriding consent at any time, in which case, further telesales calls must not be made to that number (Regulation 21(5) applies).

You must identify yourself when making a telesales call. If asked, you must provide a valid business address or Freephone telephone number at which you can be contacted. When using a subcontractor, the subcontractor’s call centre staff must identify the instigator of the call (that is, the organisation on whose behalf they are making the call) (Regulation 24(1)(b) applies).

Subscribers must not let their lines be used to contravene Regulation 21 (Regulation 21(2) applies).