What is the telephone preference service?

Is YOUR data TPS Compliant?

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service that allows individuals to officially register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls. It is also possible for corporate entities to register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls by registering with the Corporate Telephone Preference Service. Once registered to either of these services, it is a legal requirement for contact centres not to contact anybody registered with the TPS or CTPS.

The legislation governing the TPS and CTPS was introduced in May 1999, however, this legislation was replaced by the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations in 2003. More recently in 2011, the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations came into force, which significantly increased the power of the entity that polices and applies these regulations, The Information Commissioners Office. The Information Commissioner now has the power to impose fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of PECR.

Once an individual or business has registered with the TPS / CTPS, their wish not to receive unsolicited calls will become effective after 28 days. The Telephone Preference Service doesn’t work by barring calls that are made to a TPS registered number from a contact centre, but instead, all numbers that have registered with the TPS service are placed on a national database. It is the responsibility of every contact centre to ensure that they are screening this database in order to prevent calls being made to TPS registered numbers.

Contact centres have a number of mechanisms for screening TPS registered numbers. Historically, call centres have relied heavily on the data companies that they buy their data from to cleanse the data for TPS registered records. This isn’t the best method of prevention, as TPS cleansed data may not be used in a contact centre campaign for many months. Therefore, In the time between the data being cleansed, and the data being used, it is possible for an individual to register with TPS at this time, and the contact centre will inadvertently call a TPS registered individual. More recently, contact centres have started to use services such as TPS Compliant from Nexbridge to ensure that they don’t call TPS registered numbers. TPS Compliant works by checking the number being dialled against the TPS register at the point that the call is made. If the number is on the TPS register, then the call will not be able to go through and an error message will be played to the agent making the call.

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