Those calls where you answer and no-one is on the end are frustrating, and while many are not deliberate attempts to annoy but the result of automated calling systems, Ofcom has taken notice and in the last year handed out fines of over £1.5 million.
Today sees the latest fine of £750,000 handed out to TalkTalk for excessive numbers of abandoned and silent calls to potential customers in 2011. What many may not realise is that silent calls themselves do not break any rules, the rules are only broken if the number of calls goes above a certain level.
"Ofcom’s Guidelines set out an “abandoned call rate formula” which provides that the abandoned call rate shall be no more than three per cent of live calls per campaign (i.e. across call centres) or per call centre (i.e. across campaigns) over a 24 hour period. Where users of automated calling systems fail to abide by this three per cent threshold, Ofcom is likely to consider the persistent misuse to be serious."Ofcom defined threshold for abandoned and silent calls
The other fines in the last 12 months are £750,000 to Homeserve and a smaller £60,000 on npower. If you are pestered by silent calls, then Ofcom has a guide covering calls and text messages.