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Barclaycard receives serious rebuke for phones campaign

Ofcom has handed out the highest fine available to Barclaycard after a campaign of marketing / debt collection phone calls left record numbers answering their phones to a silent line. This is not the first time that the credit card companies have been caught out on this practice but even Ofcom was amazed at the figures involved (which were not released to the public). The regulator even suggested that the fine would have been much higher had it not been for legal limits on the largest fine for this type of offence.

In essence Barclaycard was found to be using an automated system which rang customers, leaving operators to pick up the phones when they were answered. It appears that the automated system had been ringing many more numbers than there were operators. As a consequence a significant number of people were answering their phones to a silent line, something which struck fear into many people.

Automated calls are not illegal but the Ofcom limit is no more than 3% of all phone calls per day per call centre. Barclaycard has obviously been well in excess of the limit to prompt the comments from Ofcom, but how high the figure actually was is only open to speculation.

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