Coalition Government takes next step in ending nuisance calls for good

October 27, 2014 4:22 PM

The Coalition Government has published a new, six week consultation on lowering the legal threshold before firms responsible for nuisance calls and texts can be punished.

Nuisance calls number 10 petition

Mark Hunter MP delivers petition on Nuisance calls to 10 Downing Street in October 2013

Cheadle constituency MP, Mark Hunter, who has led a 'No 2 Nuisance Calls' campaign for almost two years and only a fortnight ago questioned the Prime Minister on when the Government will take action, is asking all local residents that have been affected to share their views in the consultation.

The law currently requires the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to prove a company caused 'substantial damage or substantial distress' by their conduct, but the Coalition Government now wants to reduce this to causing 'annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety'.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid MP said:

'Companies have bombarded people with unwanted marketing calls and texts, but have escaped punishment because they did not cause enough harm.

'Being called day after day may not be 'substantially distressing', but that doesn't make it acceptable. I want to make it easier for companies to face the consequences of ignoring the law and subjecting us to calls or texts we have said we don't want.'

Justice and Civil Liberties Minister, and Lib Dem Simon Hughes MP, added:

'Being pestered by marketing calls and texts is annoying at the best of times. But at its worst it can bring real misery for the people on the receiving end and this Government is determined to tackle the problem.

'We have already increased the level of fine available to punish rogue companies. Now we want to make it easier to stamp it out by lowering the threshold for taking action against these companies so the Information Commissioner can move more quickly and deal more firmly with those who break the law.'

Mark Hunter commented on the launch of the consultation saying:

'It is great news that the Government is waking up to the irritation, often misery, these marketing calls can cause. In a letter that I have received this week from the Prime Minister, he outlines how the Coalition Government has taken action but that he firmly believes that more can be done.

'I am now asking all those local residents that have been involved in my 'No 2 Nuisance Calls' campaign to once again take action by sharing their views with the Government by taking part in the consultation. This is an opportunity to influence the decision-makers on this issue, and one that we've been waiting for so I am urging you to submit your contributions over the next few weeks.'

The consultation is available at the following webpage and closes on 7th December 2014.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/nuisance-calls-consultation

Alternatively, write to:

Ihtsham Hussain
PECR 2003 Consultation
Telecoms Policy Team
Department for Culture, Media & Sport
4th Floor 4E04
100 Parliament Street
London
SW1A 2BQ

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