TPS – Critical information for Call Centres

What is TPS?

TPS is an abbreviation for the Telephone Preference Service, which is a free service that gives individuals the opportunity to register their wish not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls. It is unlawful under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations (PECR), for companies to make direct marketing calls to individuals that have registered with the Telephone Preference Service. These regulations are enforced by the Information Commissioner, who has the power impose sanctions on a contact centre for serious breaches of PECR.

Why is TPS compliance more important than ever for UK contact centres?

In May 2011, amendments to the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 came into force, which significantly increased the Information Commissioners powers, and the sanctions that could be imposed on contact centres found in breach of PECR. The significance and impact of the PECR amendments cannot be overstated, as the new powers afforded to the Information Commissioner mean that financial penalties of up to £500,000 can be imposed for serious breaches of PECR.

The Telephone Preference Service advises any consumer registering their number to allow 28 days for their registration to become effective, which means that there is scope for the data that is being used by the contact centre to become contaminated with records that are TPS registered almost immediately after the data has been purchased. This type of scenario is quite likely, and completely outside of the control of the contact centre, which makes the prevention of agents calling TPS registered consumers, and avoiding the attention of the Information Commissioner extremely difficult.

How to guarantee compliance

Given the fact that data can become contaminated after it has been cleansed, it is apparent that the only way a contact centre can ensure that the data it is calling isn’t TPS registered is to check the record at the point the call is made. TPS Compliant from Nexbridge does exactly this – by performing a live automated check to our central TPS customer database prior to a call being attempted. If the number is listed within the TPS database, then TPS Compliant will not dial the number. Nexbridge is so confident of the reliability of this service, that we will guarantee that you will never call a number registered with the Telephone Preference Service whilst using our service.

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