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Does signing the Telephone Preference Service register make any difference?

The government run Telephone Preference Service (TPS), is at times being ignored by telemarketing companies, after an undercover investigation was completed. The TPS was set up to ensure consumers were not contacted by telemarketing and telesales companies if they did not want to be. There are currently 17.5 million numbers on the list.

BBC program Panorama discovered that although individuals had complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office after repeatedly being contacted since signing the TPS register, no fines had been imposed on offending companies.
But Mike Lordan at the Direct Marketing Association, which runs the TPS, told Panorama that some companies are ignoring the rules. “Companies are not abiding by legislation, and we should be seeing enforcement against those companies who are persistently breaching legislation.”

Richard Lloyd from consumer group Which? also told the programme: “Even if you have signed up to the telephone preference service, it won’t make a jot of difference to those companies that are buying and selling that information you gave to that website maybe years ago.”

A spokesman for the Information Commissioner’s office said that until this year, they did not have suitable legal powers to act. Although they now have the power to impose fines of up to £500,000, they say that enforcing the rules is not easy given the vast amounts of money companies which flout the rules stand to make.