MP backs a clampdown on cold calls

MP Sir Bob Smith urges residents to sign petition
MP Sir Bob Smith urges residents to sign petition

Local MP Sir Robert Smith is joining his colleague Mike Crockart MP in urging a clampdown on cold calls.

It is estimated that every Scot is being bombarded with 50 nuisance sales call each year, according to a new study.

According to the Global Call Prevention Registry nearly a quarter of a billion cold calls are made to people across the country – and the number is still rising.

The GCPR claim the increase is down to poor regulations, poor consumer knowledge and the recession.

David Humpheys from GCPR said: “In 2009, we estimated there were 250,000,000 cold calls to Scots. All reports and indicators point to the number of calls being made increasing year on year.

“In my opinion it is the ease with which these companies can be formed in the UK and also cost effectiveness for large UK businesses to export their labour requirements overseas that is the reason. In a sense it’s because of the recession – cold calling requires little skill and no experience.”

Mr Humpheys also suggested that the only way a person can stop the routes of communication is through the “constant vigil” of protecting their identity.

He stated: “It’s not inevitable to get cold calls but it is something that cannot be ignored and expected to just go away – action is required.

“Too few people realise how their cold callers get their details and so in effect bring about their own circumstances through ignorance.

The Telephone Preference Service which was set up for people to remove themselves from the lists available to marketing companies. But even the TPS has found it has limitations.

Its website says: “The remit of TPS lies strictly within the boundaries of live unsolicited calls of a sales/marketing nature.

“It does not stop other call types such as recorded/automated messages, silent calls, market research, overseas companies, debt collection, scam calls, nuisance and abusive calls etc.”

This means that are a lot of ways and loopholes open to marketing companies.

The Liberal Democrat Edinburgh West MP Mike Crockart is now campaigning with an online petition for a change in the laws used by these organisations.

Sir Robert said: “I would urge people to sign up to Mike’s petition if they find they are being plagued with such calls. I believe there has already been a good response to this petition.”

Sign the petition online at www.no2nuisancecalls.net