Angus MP Mike Weir who has long campaigned on the menace of “cold calls” has welcomed the announcement from the UK government of stronger measures to tackle the problem, but warned that they will not stop many of the calls currently received.
The UK government has announced a change in the law that removes the need for the Information Commissioner to prove that a call caused “substantial damage or substantial address” when taking action against anyone making such calls, and also increasing the fines available. The change will mean that the commissioner will have a lower threshold to clear in imposing fines.
Mr Weir is a member of the All Party Group on Nuisance Calls who last year published a report calling for substantial changes in the law relating to nuisance calls.
“These changes will mean that it should be easier for the Information Commissioner to take action against those who use nuisance calls.”
“This will not, however, stop the practise since it is only likely to be effective against firms in the UK. One of the frustrating problems with nuisance calls is that many originate from overseas call centres and there is very little that our regulators can do to combat these and have to rely on other regulators to take action.”
“There is also an increasing problem that callers use technology that can disguise where they are calling from or, indeed, show up false caller identification sometimes giving a UK number when they are calling from overseas. “