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20/05/2015 at 2:44 PM

Complainant: Ofcom own-initiative investigation
Investigation against: Persons or organisations causing annoyance to consumers through the making of silent or abandoned calls
Case opened: 22 June 2006
Issue: Persistent misuse of electronic communications network(s) or service(s)
Relevant instrument: Sections 128 to 131 of the Communications Act 2003

Update note: 19 May 2015

Ofcom has issued a notification to XS-Remarketing Ltd, trading as Debt Masters Direct (“Debt Masters Direct”), under section 128 of the Communications Act 2003 (the “Act”) as part of Ofcom’s ongoing own-initiative investigation.

The notification sets out that Ofcom has reasonable grounds for believing that between 9 March 2014 and 28 April 2014 Debt Masters Direct persistently misused an electronic communication network or electronic communication service by:

  • Making multiple abandoned and silent calls from its call centre during each of 37 separate 24 hour periods.
  • Making one or more repeat calls to specific numbers within 24 hours, when a call had been identified by Answer Machine Detection equipment as being picked up by an answer machine.
  • In the event of an abandoned call, failing to include details of an appropriate number in the information message to enable the called person to return the call and decline further marketing calls from the company.
  • Failing to suspend or adjust its dialler settings to reduce the risk of repeat abandoned and silent calls over 7 separate 24 hour periods, during which time it was trying to fix an error.

Debt Masters Direct has until 5pm on 15 June 2015 to make representations to Ofcom regarding the matters set out in the notification; to take steps for securing that the misuse is brought to an end and not repeated; and to remedy the consequences of the notified misuse.

After this date Ofcom will consider whether further action is appropriate.

A non-confidential version of the notification will be published on our website in due course.