A silent phone call is a call where the person called but hears nothing having answered the phone.
The majority of silent calls are not generated with malicious or mischievous intent. They can to be generated when call centres use automatic dialling systems. If there are not enough call centre staff available to handle a call then it is terminated. The communications regulator, Ofcom, expects that such calls should in future include an information message that the recipient of the call will hear when the phone is answered.
Ofcom will now have the power to fine companies to deter them from persistently making these calls. The new fine is forty times larger than the previous maximum limit of £50,000.
Third of adults ‘very concerned’
Ofcom research into the issue, carried out in 2009, found that 47% of adults felt ‘very inconvenienced’ by silent calls and 32% were ‘very concerned’. During the same 3 month period, 500 consumers contacted the British Telecom Nuisance Calls Bureau and in February of this year, over 14,000 callers to the Bureau listened to recorded advice on silent calls.
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.”
Ansaback call handling services do not include the use of automatic dialling systems and therefore the above issues are not a problem for our clients or more importantly, their customers.