Don’t be a nuisance caller
Ofcom have carried out fresh research into the way in which nuisance calls are blighting the public’s home life. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed reported receiving an unwanted call within a four week period. On average two unwanted calls were received per week with some respondents reporting higher rates.
Top of the nuisance call pile came PPI claims making up 22% of the total whilst accident claims, once one of the top bugbears, has slipped down the rankings into tenth place with 2% of the total. In mitigation seven percent of unwanted calls were reported not to be a problem by recipients with 1% of calls being seen as useful.
Conversely, seven percent of calls were reported to be “worrying” with 3% being “distressing.” Top of this list were companies purporting to offer “computer support.” To tackle this continuing menace Ofcom is working legislators and with telephone providers to better identify callers and then take the relevant action. For example, BT has agreed to undertake a change in its network which will identify incoming international calls as standard.
Unfortunately for those businesses which are genuinely trying to conduct marketing campaigns, the scam/ silent/ pressured/ nuisance calls received from other organisations tend to taint the consumer view. This means that the genuine organisation which has carefully checked its database against the current TPS listings may not receive the reception which it deserves.
The golden rule when making marketing calls is to follow the rules. These set out when calls can be made, who can be called and what information can be conveyed. Some industries have additional rules governing their products or services so before starting on a marketing campaign make sure that you understand the appropriate regulations for your business.
Despite the rise of internet marketing the telephone still has a vital place to play within the marketing mix. In fact, with the rise of VoIP, calls made via the internet have slashed the cost of calling and brought telephone marketing firmly back into the mainstream. Teaming a well founded telephone marketing campaign with the provision of easy-access telephone numbers can still pay dividends for business. Choosing freephone or low cost phone numbers can encourage potential customers to call. For example, using an 03XX number means that callers will be charged at a local rate or at no cost if landline calls are covered by their inclusive package and these numbers are considerably cheaper than 08xx numbers if called from mobiles.
Ofcom and the ICO are working together to tackle nuisance calls and further announcements will be made in the months to come. In the meantime, legitimate businesses which follow the rules should have nothing to fear.