UK communications regulator Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office have awarded themselves a pat on the back for reducing the amount of nuisance calls in the islands to a mere 3.9 billion last year.
In an update on the joint action plan to tackle nuisance calls and texts, it said: “Ofcom’s latest estimate is that approximately 3.9 billion nuisance calls are received by UK landlines per year. As large as this number is, it is about 20 per cent less than our estimate of 4.8 billion calls to landlines in 2015."
Home improvements and PPI were the most common call subjects in both 2016 and 2017.
That progress was apparently achieved by introducing "blocking" measures to stop millions of nuisance calls from getting through to people; enforcement action against companies making nuisance calls; and intelligence sharing with the government, domestic and international regulators, technical bodies and law enforcement.
However, it acknowledged there is still much more work to do to ensure people are better protected against nuisance calls.
In 2017, the ICO issued 29 civil monetary penalties totalling £2.8m. The largest penalty - of £400,000 - was against Keurboom Communications Ltd for making over 99 million unlawful automated marketing calls. During the year, seven penalties were issued for amounts of £100,000 or more.
In December 2017, the ICO exercised its powers of search and seizure by executing search warrants on two premises in Nottingham. “This is part of a wider investigation centred on a network of organisations and individuals responsible for unsolicited personal injury claims-related automated calls,” it said.
It has also created database for working group members to share the numbers they block, and view those blocked by others for consideration of further action.
Apparently the regulators "intend to continue to focus on the same approach in 2018." So consumers might see a further reduction to just three billion nuisance calls next year. ®