New Media Software Responds to new Ofcom Regulations

New Media Software, suppliers of outbound dialling solutions, has responded to a major change in regulations governing Predictive Dialling that was announced by Ofcom on the 1st March 2006.

Commenting on the new regulations, Phill McGowan, Managing Director, said, “Until now the use of predictive dialling technology has been governed under a voluntary code of practice. While there are many companies that have followed the code, there have also been a significant numbers that have chosen not to. We think that the new regulations deliver a sensible compromise that meets the commercial needs of organisations that use diallers and consumers, who are irritated by silent calls.”

“Since the new regulations were announced on the 1st March, we have been working to ensure that our the latest version of the Adaptive Predictive Dialler provides all the features that are needed to meet the new regulations.”

The Adaptive Predictive Dialler works with telephone systems from Avaya, Inter-Tel, LG and Siemens and is available from Crane, Inter-Tel, MTV Telecom, Nimans and Rocom.

In overview the new Ofcom regulations are:

1. Abandoned call rates must be below three per cent of all calls made in any 24 hour period for each campaign. An Ofcom investigation into silent calls last year found that some call centres’ abandoned call rates can be significantly higher than the five per cent maximum required by existing voluntary industry codes. Ofcom believes that setting an enforceable three per cent limit will significantly reduce the volume of abandoned calls, while allowing the legitimate and responsible use of automated calling systems;

2. All abandoned calls must carry a short recorded information message identifying the source of the call;

3. Calling line identification (CLI) must be included on all outbound calls generated by automated calling systems. CLI allows people to dial 1471 and access the telephone number of the person or organisation calling them.

Ofcom have announced that they will take action to enforce the new rules where appropriate, including investigation of UK-based organisations using offshore call centres found to be in breach of specific requirements. Organisations are required to keep records for a minimum of six months to demonstrate their compliance. Ofcom plans to review the policy after 12 months to assess whether further changes are necessary.

Separately the Government has confirmed that the maximum financial penalty that Ofcom can impose will be increased from £5,000 to £50,000 for each breach of the rules. The increased fine will come into effect later this year and follows a separate DTI consultation.

McGowan says the latest version of the Adaptive Predictive Dialler includes all the features needed to enable an organisation to fully comply with the new Ofcom regulations.