Ofcom fines TalkTalk £750,000 over abandoned and silent calls header image

Ofcom has fined broadband provider TalkTalk £750,000 for making an excessive number of abandoned and silent phone calls to potential customers in 2011.

The move follows an investigation by the telecommunications watchdog aimed at reducing the harm caused by these nuisance calls.

Ofcom's policy sets a limit on the number of abandoned phone calls a company can make.

It found that TalkTalk exceeded these thresholds by a substantial amount on four separate occasions between February 1st and March 21st 2011.

The company also failed to ensure that information messages were played, meaning that consumers received approximately 9,000 silent calls.

Ofcom’s consumer group director, Claudio Pollack, said: "Silent and abandoned calls can cause annoyance and distress to consumers. Companies must abide by the law and Ofcom’s policies. If they fail to do so then Ofcom will take firm action."

She added: "Today’s penalty sends out a strong message to organisations using call centres that they must comply or face the consequences."

In response to the fine, a TalkTalk spokesperson told ISPreview it will no longer use the suppliers - Teleperformance and McAlpine Marketing - that were responsible for making the calls.

In other broadband news, the UK Supreme Court has ruled that simply viewing a webpage cannot be classed as copyright infringement.

This means internet users will not face the threat of legal action if they happen to come across a page that contains copyrighted content.

Concerns had been raised about the fact that internet browsers tend to cache temporary copies of webpages on users' computers, as this allows for websites to load quicker and improves the general performance of the internet.

However, the court ruled this is an "integral and essential part of a technological process" and as such it does not constitute copyright infringement.

Lord Sumption, one of the judges on the case, stated: "It has never been an infringement, in either English or EU law, for a person merely to view or read an infringing article in physical form."

Posted by Craig Roberts