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New guidance on nuisance calls for phone providers

Tuesday, November 3rd 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Phone providers have been issued with new guidance on dealing with nuisance calls.

The Internet Telephony Service Providers Association (ITSPA) today published its Best Practice Document on nuisance calls.

The document provides communications providers with a comprehensive guide to the different types of nuisance call and detailed advice on handling complaints about them.

ITSPA represents more than 80 companies that provide Voice over IP services (VoIP) to customers.

The publication of nuisance calls guidance follows lengthy discussions with politicians and a debate in the House of Commons last week.

ITSPA defines a nuisance call as one that is unwanted, silent or abandoned, and a malicious call as one deliberately intended to cause offence or annoyance.

The best practice document sets out the legal obligations for communications providers and gives advice on what they can do to help customers who have been subjected to these types of calls.

ITSPA chairman Eli Katz said he was delighted to launch the document on nuisance calls.

“I encourage all of our members to study this guidance and ensure they are doing what they can to tackle this difficult problem and help support their customers as fully as possible," he said.

“ITSPA member companies are committed to both tackling the problem and educating customers around the ways and means to avoid these unwanted calls where possible.

“We continue to engage with government, regulators and law enforcement agencies on this matter and believe their focus on the perpetrators of this activity is the right one.

Silent call

“Finding a solution around international calls is significantly more difficult but still needs to be tackled to help to truly resolve the current situation.”

Cable.co.uk reported earlier this year that nuisance calls are a problem for four in five UK adults.

An Ofcom report found that 86% of those participating in its study experienced a nuisance call over a four-week period.

More than half of those taking part (52%) received a recorded sales call – up from 37% in 2014 and 38% in 2013 – and 70% reported receiving a live sales call.

60% received a silent call – where there seems to be no one on the line but there is background noise.

17% received an abandoned call – a recorded message saying an organisation has tried to contact you but there is no one available to speak to you.

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