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Encyclopedia > Silent call

A silent call is a telephone call that is generated by a predictive dialer (or dialler) which does not have an agent immediately available to handle the call. In this instance the call may be terminated by the dialler, and the called party receives a silence ("dead air") or a tone from the telephone company which indicates the call has been dropped. A telephone call is a connection over a telephone network between the calling party and the called party. ... Bold text To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Dead air is a phenomenon whereby a broadcast which normally carries audio or video unintentionally becomes silent or blank (also known as unmodulated carrier). ... A telephone company (or telco) provides telecommunications services such as telephony and data communications. ...


In the USA, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) uses the term abandoned call instead of silent call in its regulations applying to telemarketing. FTC headquarters, Washington, D.C. The Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) is an independent agency of the United States government, established in 1914 by the Federal Trade Commission Act. ... FTC may mean several things: The Federal Trade Commission. ... Telemarket Office // Early History Telemarketing is a registered trademark owned by Nadji Tehrani who founded TeleMarketing Magazine in 1982. ...


For more information on why the technology makes silent calls, see predictive dialer. Bold text To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents


Other reasons for silent calls

Many silent calls are a result of process known as pinging. This is very similar to an Internet Protocol (IP) ping, where the intention is to see if there is life at the destination. This is often used by data cleaning companies as a method of removing dead telephone numbers from old lists. Each number is dialled and immediately dropped if the call is connected. If the call is not dropped quickly enough it may result in a short ringing signal. Many people incorrectly believe these calls are caused by predictive dialers. The Internet Protocol (IP) is a data-oriented protocol used for communicating data across a packet-switched internetwork. ... For other uses, see Ping (disambiguation). ... A ringing signal is a telephony signal that tells the user that there is an incoming call. ...


Telemarketing and the UK DMA

It is believed that most, although not all, silent calls are made by telemarketing agencies. Telemarket Office // Early History Telemarketing is a registered trademark owned by Nadji Tehrani who founded TeleMarketing Magazine in 1982. ...


Around 10% of dialler users in the UK are members of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) who are an industry interest group for telemarketing in the UK. The DMA code of conduct rules that no more than 5% of the calls made per day should be silent. Many consumer groups consider this too high, and initially campaigned for this to be lowered to 3%. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is a U.S. trade organization which seeks to advance all forms of direct marketing. ... Telemarket Office // Early History Telemarketing is a registered trademark owned by Nadji Tehrani who founded TeleMarketing Magazine in 1982. ...


The legal position in the UK

There is no law that declares silent calls illegal, although the Communications Act 2003 states:

"127.2 A person is guilty of an offence if, for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, he- .../cut/... (c) persistently makes use of a public electronic communications network."

In 2003, OFCOM starting investigations into two separate companies who were believed to be making silent calls. They were investigated under this section of the legislation because it was believed that they were "causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety". Unofficial warnings were issued, but OFCOM did not use powers given to it under the act until 3 May 2005 when it issued a notification to one of the companies (This notification is akin to a written warning). The terms of this notification were that this company was to make no more than 5% silent calls. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Office of Communications, usually known as Ofcom, is the UKs communications regulator. ... A detective is an officer of the police who performs criminal or administrative investigations, in some police departments, the lowest rank among such investigators (above the lowest rank of officers and below sergeants), a civilian licensed to investigate information not readily available in public records (a private investigator, also called... May 3 is the 123rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (124th in leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On 31 October 2005 OFCOM have published their revised policy requiring that October 31 is the 304th day of the year (305th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 61 days remaining. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...

  • Abandoned calls must carry a recorded message about the company calling.
  • Calling line identification must be presented on all outbound calls from call centres using automated calling systems.
  • Telephone calls abandoned should not be re-dialed for at least 72 hours, unless a dedicated person is available.
  • Abandoned call rates must be less than 3% in any 24 hour period.
  • Suitable records must be kept.

OFCOM also announced that it had completed its investigation into seven companies in relation to silent call. Notificactions were issued to four, requiring no more than 3% abandoned calls. An undertaking was secured from another company for the same performance. One of the other company's actions did not constitute persistent misuse, and the final company has stopped accepting contracts to send unsolicited fax communications. Caller ID (Caller Identification or CID) is a telephony intelligent network service that transmits the callers telephone number, and in some places the caller s name, to the called partys telephone equipment during the ringing signal or when the call is being set up but before the call...


OFCOM has published a statement of policy as to what persistent misuse is, but many do not find this very helpful.


At present, OFCOM has not attempted any prosecutions for making silent calls. Criminal law (also known as penal law) is the body of law that regulates governmental sanctions (such as imprisonment and/or fines) as retaliation for crimes against the social order. ...


The No Agent Available (NAA) message

One solution to silent calls is for marketing organisations to play a recorded message to the consumer explaining why the call was silent and why no agent was available. The industry, lead by the DMA, resisted this for a long time because it was assumed that it would be termed illegal under article 19 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PERC): Consumers are individuals or households that consume goods and services generated within the economy. ...

"Use of automated calling systems 19. - (1) A person shall neither transmit, nor instigate the transmission of, communications comprising recorded matter for direct marketing purposes by means of an automated calling system except in the circumstances referred to in paragraph (2)."

(Further Guidance on the PERC 2003)


However, after extensive campaigning from a consumer called David Hickson the industry reviewed its position and started to further investigate the matter.


A private consulting firm contacted the information commissioner on 13 July 2005 and got confirmation that a NAA message is acceptable, on the condition that the message itself does not contain any marketing information. On 25th July 2005, this consulting firm then released a framework to help call centres implement the NAA message, entitled Voluntary Dialling Code. Management consulting (sometimes also called strategy consulting) refers to both the practice of helping companies to improve performance through analysis of existing business problems and development of future plans, as well as to the firms that specialize in this sort of consulting. ... July 13 is the 194th day (195th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar, with 171 days remaining. ...


However, many believed that even if a NAA message was legal in terms of the PERC, OFCOM could still find that it was persistent misuse.


On August 17, MP John Hemming received confirmation from OFCOM that usage of the NAA message would not be termed a persistent misuse, and there is no widespread belief that OFCOM will conclude that the six companies it's currently investigating should stop making silent calls and use the information message instead. August 17 is the 229th day of the year (230th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


Interestingly, OFCOM did not indicate what quantity of NAA is acceptable. It is likely that most people will work to 5%, however some dishonest companies are likely to make a high quantity of NAA calls in the same way they made a high quantity of silent calls. If this occurs, then the NAA message will become as much of a nuisance as silent calls are. The only solution to this would be for either OFCOM to issue guidance on the acceptable level (and then prosecute those who go above this level), or for the government to introduce new legislation. Either way, this is an area that is extremely difficult to police. Nuisance is a common law tort. ...


On August 18 the DMA pledged to update its code (many believe the updates will be identical to the points the Voluntary Dialling Code). No update has as yet been released and the Voluntary Code remains the only framework in existence. August 18 is the 230th day of the year (231st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... DMA can refer to: In computing: Direct Memory Access (most common) Dynamic memory allocation Document Management Alliance DMA Design - The former name of Rockstar North, a game developer Digital media adapter - In consumer electronics, for use between computers and other equipment (stereos, TVs, etc. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Silent Call deaf alerting systems smoke detectors for the deaf blind alerting devices deaf-blind electronics (196 words)
Since 1985, the Silent Call Communications Corporation has taken a simple philosophy of personal communications by means of electronic devices and developed an exciting product line.
They also provide a convenient way for anyone located in a noisy setting or outside their home to receive notification that someone is at their door or that their fire alarm detects smoke.
Today's Silent Call Line utilizes state-of-the-art electronic telecommunications and microchip technology combined with an easy to use interface.
Ofcom Website | Silent Calls:FAQs (2055 words)
The term ‘silent call’ is a generic description for all those types of telephone call where the person called experiences silence on the line when they answer the telephone and has no means of establishing whether anyone is at the other end.
Most silent calls are not generated with malicious intent but are caused by automated calling systems such as predictive or power diallers used by call centres for telemarketing, market research, debt collection and other purposes.
The most serious are silent calls made with a malicious intent to deliberately frighten or annoy the person called.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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