In response to Ofcom’s warning to npower and HomeServe issued today, Gillian Cooper, energy expert at Consumer Focus said:
‘Unsolicited sales calls are a major concern for most of us. Abandoned calls are annoying and few people welcome being disturbed in their own home. Ofcom is right to threaten fines to any firm caught doing this.
‘We don’t agree with npower’s defence – unsolicited calls, even if they include an energy efficiency message, are still marketing. npower and its subsidiary HomeServe must stop these sales tactics given the negative impact they have on consumers.’
- Consumer Focus operates a free Stayprivate.org service. Consumers should never have to pay to opt-out of marketing messages. By signing up to StayPrivate consumers can choose to register for the following services:
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a central opt out register whereby individuals can register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls. It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS.
The Mailing Preference Service (MPS) is a free service set up 20 years ago and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from lists used by the industry. It is actively supported by the Royal Mail and all directly involved trade associations and fully supported by The Information Commissioners Office.
The MPS Consumer File is a list of names and addresses of consumers who wish to limit the amount of direct mail they receive. The use of the Consumer File by list-owners and users is a requirement of the British Code of Advertising, Sales Promotion and Direct Marketing administered by the Advertising Standards Authority. It is also a condition under the Code of Practice of the Direct Marketing Association. The MPS will not stop mail that has been sent from overseas, un-addressed material or mail addressed to The Occupier. You can expect to continue to receive mailings from companies with whom you have done business in the past. You may also receive mailings from small, local companies. If you wish these mailings to be stopped, you must notify these companies directly. It will take up to 4 months for the Service to have full effect although you should notice a reduction of the mail during this period.
Baby MPS is a free service which allows you to register not to receive baby related mailings. By checking the information Baby MPS makes available to them, companies are advised how your circumstances have changed as well as your preference not to receive further mailings about baby products and services. Since Baby MPS information is updated daily, companies have access to the most up-to-date information possible.
The Fax Preference Service (FPS), deals with junk faxes and is intended for corporate use (individuals are covered by law) and for individual households.
The Corporate TPS service (CTPS), deals with cold calling for businesses.
- Further information on sales or marketing calls to your home is available on Ofcom’s website