Marketing calls and the rules that you need to know for making them.
Marketing calls are one of the most used way of contacting people and offering your services to them. But while this is a good method, you must not forget about the rules of making the calls. We’ll share some rules in order to be compliant and to not face a fine or possible investigation by the regulator.
What are the rules on making live calls?
The rules on live marketing calls are in regulation 21, 21A and 21B. In short, you must not make unsolicited live calls:
- to anyone who has told you they don’t want your calls;
- to any number registered with the TPS or CTPS, unless the person has specifically consented to your calls – even if they are an existing customer (unless the call is in relation to pension schemes and you meet a strict criteria, see below);
- for the purpose of claims management services, unless the person has specifically consented to your calls; or
- in relation to pension schemes unless you are a trustee or manager of a pension scheme or a firm authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, and the person you are calling has specifically consented to your calls or your relationship with the individual meets a strict criteria.
You must always say who is calling, allow your number (or an alternative contact number) to be displayed to the person receiving the call, and provide a contact address or freephone number if asked.
What are the rules on automated calls?
The rules on automated calls are in regulation 19, and are stricter. You must not make an automated marketing call – that is, a call made by an automated dialling system that plays a recorded message – unless the person has specifically consented to receive this type of call from you. General consent for marketing, or even consent for live calls, is not enough – it must specifically cover automated calls . All automated calls must include your name and a contact address or freephone number. You must also allow your number (or an alternative contact number) to be displayed to the person receiving the call.
What are the TPS and the CTPS?
The TPS is the Telephone Preference Service. It is a central register of individuals who have opted out of receiving live marketing calls.
The CTPS is the Corporate TPS. It works in the same way as the TPS, but for companies and other corporate bodies (limited liability partnerships, Scottish partnerships and government bodies).
When can we make marketing calls to individuals?
You can call any individual who has specifically consented to receive marketing calls from you – for example, by ticking an opt-in box.
You can also make live calls without consent to a number if it is not listed on the TPS – but only if that person hasn’t objected to your calls in the past and you are not marketing claims management services.
In practice, this means you will need to screen most call lists against the TPS register. You will also need to keep your own ‘do not call’ list of people who object or opt out, and screen against that as well.
In general you cannot make live marketing calls in relation to pension schemes. However there is an exception to this but you must be a trustee or manager of the scheme, or authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority. You must also have either the individual’s consent for the calls or your relationship with the individual must meet a strict criteria. The criteria that you must meet if you want to make such a call without consent is as follows:
- you have an existing customer relationship with the person you are calling;
- they might reasonably expect such a call from you; and
- you gave them a chance to opt-out of such calls when you collected their details and in every message you send them.
When can we make marketing calls to businesses?
The rules are the same as for calls to individuals. So, you can call any business that has specifically consented to your calls – for example, by ticking an opt-in box.
You can also make live calls to any business number that is not registered on the TPS or the CTPS, but only if they haven’t objected to your calls in the past and you are not marketing claims management services.
You should remember that some businesses (sole traders and some partnerships) register with the TPS, and others (companies, some partnerships and government bodies) register with the CTPS. For business-to-business (B2B) calls, you will therefore need to screen against both the TPS and the CTPS registers, as well as your own ‘do not call’ list.
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