Bottom Line:

If you are a customer running marketing campaigns in the UK, you should screen your call list against the TPS register to make sure that you do not run afoul of TPS laws.

What are the legal obligations of TPS?

Businesses need to know and understand The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR).

PECR is a regulation that is intended to complement the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR) and its UK adaptation of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018). It is specific to electronic communications, offering protection to individuals and corporations.

What does this mean for your business?

If your business makes direct marketing calls, you must adhere to the following protocol:

  1. You must state who is calling, usually, this will be the name of your organization.

  2. All calls must be traceable. This means displaying your telephone number (or an alternative contact number) to the subscriber you are calling.

  3. You’ll need to provide your contact details or telephone number if asked.

If your business sends direct marketing faxes, you’ll need to follow a similar protocol. It is unlawful for a business (including charities or other voluntary organizations) to send such faxes to anybody, whether a consumer or business if the recipient has registered with the Fax Preference Service (FPS).

What your business must not do:

If a number is registered with Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) it is unlawful for your business to call this number.

Any individual or corporate subscriber who has previously objected to your calls must also not be contacted.

Who needs to comply with the regulations?

All businesses (including charities and voluntary organizations) who make direct marketing telephone calls to individuals and corporate subscribers - or send direct marketing faxes.

To ensure compliance with the regulations, all lists should be cleaned against the TPS, CTPS, or FPS registers before unsolicited direct marketing calls are made, or faxes sent. This is in addition to checking in-house "do not call" lists.

The only exception is where the individual or corporate subscriber has consented to the receipt of direct marketing calls or faxes from your organization.

Who enforces these regulations?

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is the UK supervisory authority responsible for enforcement. The role of TPS is to maintain the register and make them available for organizations to screen, so they know numbers to which unsolicited direct marketing calls must not be made or faxes sent.

The Telephone Preference Service Limited (TPSL) investigates complaints received from subscribers registered with TPS, CTPS, and FPS. They work closely with the ICO in supporting their investigative work, including fully supporting enforcement actions.

TPSL is a subsidiary of the Data and Marketing Association (DMA). TPSL manages TPS, CTPS, and FPS under contract with the ICO.

How often should you clean your data?

As frequently as possible. Cleaning your data ensures anybody who is on either register 28 days or more previously, is not contacted. This is their legal right.

How to screen the TPS register:

Your organization would need a TPS license to screen the TPS register. There are different types of licenses (partial, annual) that your organization can choose from. More information about them can be found here: https://corporate.tpsonline.org.uk/prices

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