This year has seen a number of companies fall foul of this legislation, most notably, two companies that appeared on BBC Threes 'The Call Centre' (Read article), who were fined £225,000 for making nuisance calls.
Any UK based company that use telesales as a mechanism to market and sell to prospects should be aware of, and actively screen their data against, the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) master file.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) (www.tpsonline.org.uk) operate an official opt out register for individuals and companies that do not wish to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
Telesales and telemarketing often form an integral part of a sales strategy, but it is important to realise that the TPS offers both protection for individuals and companies, but can also benefits sales departments and call centres. By screening prospect data regularly (every 28 days by law), call centres can save valuable operator time as well as improve conversion rates. More meaningful conversations will improve results all round - increased sales, happier call centre operators and satisfied customers. Failure to screen data risks poor sales results, wasted operator time, demotivated call centre staff, risks brand damage and could lead to a hefty fine.
The TPS comprises two parts – TPS (for consumers, sole traders and partnerships) and CTPS (Corporates, Limited Companies and PLC’s). So, if you are calling consumers, your data needs to be screened against the TPS master file only. However, if you are contacting businesses, then the data needs to be screened against both TPS and CTPS to ensure compliance.
There are a number of methods of TPS screening.