20/04/2015, London, UK
With the news that companies contacting households with unsolicited nuisance calls and texts can be investigated with more ease, increasing the likeliness of fines that could reach up to £500,000 by Ofcom, Jason Griffin, Solutions Consultant at Aspect Software, believes that this could will as a catalyst and create changes in the way these companies approach the public.
The new legislation, which came into effect last week, mean it is now easier for regulators to charge nuisance callers, due to the government lowering the threshold for regulators to take enforcement action.
Griffin said: “This is the first step in what could be a radical change in the way these companies approach people from now on. The new regulations mean that cold callers don’t have to make a significant amount of calls to one person in order for complaints to be followed up, all it needs to take is one nuisance call for them to be investigated, which widens the range and capabilities of regulators.
“Because of this, what we’re going to see here is this industry splitting into two different sides; on one side, we will see businesses that will not be affected by these changes. These will the companies who have the capabilities to target people in more advanced ways to avoid prosecution through figuring out key demographics and contacting customers through the correct channels. Then there will be those who are affected the most, these will be the companies who continue to act naively and call customers out the blue with products or services they clearly would have no interest in,” he said.
Griffin believes that companies that use these techniques are going to have to become more intelligent quickly, especially if they do not have the technological aptitude to get around the regulations.
He added: “The smaller companies that do not have the capacity to apply the technologies to help them fight off these fines are going to have to go through a drastic change of action if they are to continue operating. Businesses are no longer going to be able to simply call everyone under the sun and hound them with automated messages, especially when one complaint can lead to a world of trouble. It’s going to take a more in-depth analysis from these companies about whom they target and how they do it. Businesses need to think about who is going to actually be interested in listening what they have to say – if you’re calling to offer PPI to someone who has never taken out a loan in their lives, you are doing nothing but wasting both yours and the person’s time. The same goes with how you contact them – if you’re calling someone out of nowhere at 10 o’clock in the evening, they are not going to respond to your advances, why would they?”
Griffin concluded: “The power is returning to the hands of the customers, and these regulations are a sign of mindless cold calls coming to an end. This is an important turning point where the industry needs to decide whether to sink or swim, because if they don’t change, these fines could be highly damaging. People want to hear about deals businesses can offer and how they can help them; what they don’t want is to be hounded at all hours of the day being offered things they don’t need, and if these companies realise the benefits of a tactful approach, they will have nothing to fear.”
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