TalkTalk has been fined a whopping £750,000 for nuisance calls to potential customers. The incidents occurred in February and March 2011 when two call centre contractors used by TalkTalk – Teleperformance and McAlpine Marketing – made 9,000 calls to customers that were either silent or abandoned, far in excess of the limit allowed by Ofcom.
As a result Ofcom issued the heavy fine to the operators as a warning to others that firms do not have the right to hassle the public with repeated calls.
“Today’s penalty sends out a strong message to organisations using call centres that they must comply or face the consequences,” said Ofcom’s consumer group director, Claudio Pollack.
“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."
TalkTalk confirmed to V3 that it stopped working with Teleperformance and McAlpine Marketing when the incidents came to light and the entire fine will be covered by the two firms.
“TalkTalk demands high standards from the companies it works with and as a result TalkTalk immediately stopped using these suppliers," they said. "Both suppliers addressed the root cause of the problem and TalkTalk will fully recover the financial penalty imposed by Ofcom from these companies."
V3 contacted Teleperformance for comment but had received no reply at the time of publication. Confusingly, it appears McAlpine Marketing has changed its name to Bvocal since the incidents and it is not clear if the firm now has any ties with those in charge in 2011.
TalkTalk has in the past had a poor track record with complaints from customers, often topping Ofcom's complaint charts. However, its service appears to be improving with issues falling after it promised to make dealing with customer frustrations a top priority.
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