If you’re a UK entity that makes cold calls to UK numbers, you cannot afford NOT to know about the Telephone Preference Service. Let’s dive in.
1. TPS is the UK Telephone Preference Service – the UK’s only official ‘Do Not Call’ register
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the UK’s only official ‘Do Not Call’ register for landline and mobile numbers. It allows people and businesses to opt out of unsolicited live sales and marketing calls. TPS is a free service that currently contains millions of UK phone numbers – at the time of posting it was 17,771,026 numbers!
There is also a register for businesses called the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS).
2. You cannot call any number registered with the TPS or CTPS even if they are an existing customer
That’s right. It’s illegal to call any number on the TPS or CTPS unless:
- the person has specifically consented to your calls
- the call is in relation to pension schemes and you meet a strict criteria
If you’re not sure about whether a number is on the TPS, it’s not worth risking it… as you’re about to see.
3. You can be fined up to £500,000 for calling numbers on the TPS
The Information Commissioner Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcing the regulations and will determine what action should be taken for breaching the regulations. They can issue fines of up to £500,000.
This isn’t an empty threat. You can read about recent action the ICO have taken here.
4. You must screen against TPS/CTPS once every 28 days
If you are making unsolicited sales calls, you are legally required to screen against TPS/CTPS. You must do this at a minimum, every 28 days – it’s the law. If you want to find out more, read the Privacy and Electronic (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (known as PECR).
It’s a common misconception that buying data that has already been TPS screened does not require ongoing screening. This is wrong. This also means that if you register your number on the TPS, you should allow 28 days for it to become effective.
5. TPS screening is a legal requirement for companies, voluntary organisations and charities
Don’t think this is just for private companies. The TPS list means no organisation for profit or non-profit – including companies, charities, voluntary organisations and political parties – can call that number.
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If you want to find out more information about the Telephone Preference Service, check out these resources: