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Ofcom warns silent call abusers of new crackdown

LONDON - Ofcom is threatening further action against silent callers, saying it will look harder to find companies which it thinks are breaking its recently revised rules on silent and abandoned calls.

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In March the telecoms regulator introduced stricter rules designed to reduce the annoyance caused to the public by telemarketers' automated dialling systems.

These include a 3% ceiling for abandoned call rates in any 24-hour period and the requirement for calls to carry a recorded information message and calling line identification.

It has now warned that some companies may be failing to comply with these rules, based on the level of compalints it has received.

To tackle the problem it says it will identify possible miscreants by gathering information from nuisance calls bureaux operated by telecoms providers such as BT, and directly from companies who use or provide automated dialling systems. The new rules oblige automated dialling systems users to keep a record of their calls.

It will then carry out a detailed investigation of each case and publish the findings on its Competition Bulletin. The maximum penalty Ofcom is allowed to impose was recently increased by the government from £5,000 to £50,000.

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