Business Telephone Preference System Overview
It is essential that you are aware of the laws surrounding telemarketing practices. You should always know whether the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) registers the leads that you generate. Attempts to contact anyone on this registrar will result in financial and legal penalties.
With this warning established up front, this article outlines:
- What the TPS is
- Corporate TPS & its legal responsibilities
- The benefits of using a TPS Checker
- The costs of carrying out a TPS check
Telephone Preference Service – What Is It?
Before undertaking any telemarketing campaign, you must check that your lead list has been TPS filtered. This will ensure that your company remains on the right side of the law. You will avoid financial penalties and the risk of loosing professional affiliations.
A TPS checker can be the simplest and most efficient way forward.
The Telephone Preference Service is free and currently has over 23 million individuals registered. Businesses can avoid being cold called via the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS). This was set up in June 2004 and has over 2 million people registered. You should adhere to these regulations if you wish to keep your campaign profitable.
TPS Checker – What is it?
A TPS checker automatically cleans your leads of those on the TPS/ CTPS. Investment in this tool can support B2B or B2C telemarketing campaigns. You’ll potentially save thousands as you’ll avoid the fines and legal ramifications of ignoring the ‘do not call’ list.
Costs for a TPS checking service will vary. Some offer flexible options depending upon the size of your campaign. Economies of scale mean the more leads you get screened, the less you pay per lead and the cheaper your cost per conversion. It is therefore worth your while to carry out a TPS check.
Failure to implement a TPS check could lead to a £500,000 fine from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) permit the ICO to take action against any company not adhering to the regulations. As more businesses are aware of their legal rights, they press for compensation for what they perceive as nuisance calls.
Some telemarketing companies operate a ‘do not call’ list already. Despite this, you should screen any remaining outbound call lists as a precaution. An accidental call to any registered company could significantly impact all campaign profits, or cost you your business.
Corporate Telephone Preference Service
The CTPS is for businesses who want to stop receiving unsolicited sales and marketing calls. This is particularly important given the expanding number of call centres based elsewhere in the world. These are not bound by British law and their automatic dialling systems can become a nuisance for staff.
CTPS – Legal Obligations For Telemarketers
For specific details of the law in relation to CTPS, you should look at the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations. Like the TPS regulations, these rules state that it is illegal to call anyone on the TPS. The same applies to any individual who has stated to you directly that they do not wish to receive marketing calls.
Legally, ‘individuals’ includes not only residential consumers, but sole traders and partnerships (except Scotland). Many companies mistake these legal entities as ‘companies’ and believe they are not covered by the TPS – they are. So, whether you’re running a B2B or B2C campaign, it is advisable to run your leads through a TPS checker.
Corporate subscribers to this service include bodies such as U.K. limited companies, limited liability partnerships in England, Wales and Northern Ireland or any partnership in Scotland. The CTPS also includes organisations and public bodies – schools, government departments, hospitals, charities, political parties, or other public agencies.
The CTPS may apply either to all of an organisation’s telephone numbers, or merely to certain specified numbers. The company have right of redress from the Information Commissioner’s Office if they are called by mistake.
The CTPS keep each registration for a year, so exemption from calls for registrants lasts for one year only. Reviewing your data on a regular basis means, therefore, that you will optimise your list.
Professional Sanctions For Breaching Regulations
Fines are not the only potential problem for your business when running a telemarketing campaign. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Financial Services Authority (FSA) or another regulated body may control your business. If this is the case, breaching telephone privacy regulations increases the risk of you losing your licence to trade. At the very least, your business will face restrictions.
Such sanctions are also a matter of public record. Availability on the internet could potentially damage your business reputation.
TPS Recommendations For Telemarketing Campaigns
If you wish to maintain your credibility and viability, good practice demands that you use a TPS data check. You will avoid heavy penalties and meet legal compliance this way. Furthermore, knowing your list is clean ensures that you remain within the legislative boundaries of industry regulators and keep bad press to a minimum.
Regular data reviews, along with appropriate segmentation for well-planned campaigns will ensure that you stay on the right side of the law. For TPS-registered companies, it may be worth checking if they are happy to receive a call in the future and make a note of this. This adds further value to your lead list, as they have specifically ‘opted in’ for future campaigns.
Finally, shop around with lead providers as prices vary. Check they filter their lists to exclude those registered on the TPS for Business. If you find any have slipped through the net, be sure to inform your supplier, who should replace each lead for a viable alternative.
We recommend exploring your telemarketing options further. You can discover the benefits of telemarketing, find out the truth about cold calling or find the perfect telemarketing partner for your small business.
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