Silent Calls

Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 14th February 2013.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury) 9:30 am, 14th February 2013

what steps she is taking to tackle silent calls; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Under the Communications Act 2003, the Office of CommunicationsOfcom—has responsibility for tackling silent and abandoned calls through its persistent misuse powers. It has an ongoing enforcement programme targeted at companies that breach those rules and can issue a penalty of up to £2 million. In the previous year, Ofcom issued fines of £810,000.

Photo of Cathy Jamieson Cathy Jamieson Shadow Minister (Treasury)

I thank the Minister for that answer, but many of my constituents, and those of other hon. Members, say that despite registering with the Telephone Preference Service, they still receive silent and other nuisance calls. Will the Minister meet concerned MPs so that we can discuss some of those issues and look at what more can be done to help stop constituents suffering that nuisance?

Photo of Ed Vaizey Ed Vaizey The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

I have already met a number of MPs to discuss the issue and I would be delighted to meet the hon. Lady and any hon. Members she wishes to bring with her. I share her concerns. This is important and there are two regulators—Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office—and I meet them regularly to discuss this issue. I would happily bring them to the meeting.