The campaign to protect the right to make telesales calls and telephone reminders to customers and sales prospects now has an online platform to exchange ideas to prevent telemarketing being outlawed.
The online community hub has been formed primarily to build a central point for jointly creating alternative regulation to that of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
Call For Action On The TPS has been created in response to the failure of TPS to protect the public from rogue callers, and the possibility of ethical and regulatory compliant companies being barred from making calls to consumers.
The principal threat to dealerships being able to make reminders about servicing and MoT’s, and call sales prospects, comes from the outcome of the Digital Economy Bill.
The Government is due to pass the legislation in the first half of next year, and a key element is the instruction to the Information Commissioners Office to create a new code for all forms of direct marketing, including outbound calling.
With ‘nuisance’ calls being the primary subject of complaints to MPs, and public concern voiced by consumer groups and the media, the ICO is under pressure to bring in hardline regulation.
There is already a recommendation by the Department For Works and Pensions to ban outbound calling on personal pensions with accompanying pressure to outlaw all financial telemarketing.
There is a fear a blanket ban could follow.
Call For Action On The TPS has created the online community group at cfaottps.cmnty.com/home to put forward and develop ideas to create alternative regulation that effectively protects the public, and preserves the right of ethical companies to make commercial calls. It is hoped that putting forward a proposal for new regulation will prevent more draconian measures being imposed.
"There are lots of companies that use the telephone responsibly to provide customers and sales prospects with value and benefit, but this ability could easily end depending on what the ICO recommends to government,’ said Call For Action founder Charlie McKelvey, editor of Decision Marketing.
"The irony is that blanket ban regulation would leave an open field for rogues that simply ignore whatever rules there are."
A key element in gathering ideas for new regulation is a questionnaire that will be used as the a key opinion gathering mechanic. The community platform, which is based on the model used for collaboration by scientists and academics, also contains a forum, blog and news section.