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Silent PPI calls to be probed by Ofcom

Silent and abandoned phone calls about payment protection insurance (PPI) are being investigated by telecoms watchdog Ofcom, which says consumers who get unwanted calls are getting around two each week.

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Calls about PPI from claims management firms make up the largest proportion of all nuisance calls that could be identified, at 22%, according to Ofcom research (see our Stop Spam Calls and Stop Spam Texts guides for help with them).

It is writing to the Ministry of Justice, which regulates claims management firms, about the matter, as well as working with the Information Commissioner's Office, which regulates marketing calls and texts.

Energy (10%), market research (10%) and insurance companies (8%) were also among the most frequent culprits.

Abandoned and silent calls in particular often cause concern and annoyance, and are most usually caused by technology used by marketing, research and debt companies.

'Two calls a week is too many'

Ofcom consumer group director Claudio Pollack says: "Two nuisance calls a week is too many and this detailed research will help us understand the root cause of the problem.

"We will use the full range of our powers to tackle abandoned and silent calls, but this is a complex area that requires joint action from a number of different agencies and Government.

"We are therefore working with the Government and other regulators to help drive a co-ordinated and more effective response to nuisance calls."

Earlier this year, Ofcom laid out plans to tackle nuisance calls (see the Ofcom to tackle nuisance calls MSE News story), and it fined TalkTalk £750,000 last month for making an excessive number of abandoned and silent calls to potential customers (see the TalkTalk fined MSE News story).

It is also considering options for action against all companies that fail to provide consumers with a valid number enabling them to stop further calls, and it believes current regulation on nuisance calls should be reviewed.

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