What is the Business/Corporate TPS?
The “CTPS” or “Corporate Telephone Preference Service” is the national business database for companies that do not wish to be contacted in a telesales/telemarketing capacity.
This is not a new service but rather a natural extension of the consumer version that you may well have heard off, which is simply known as the “TPS”.
You can register either all of your phone numbers or just select ones, however you do need to have permission to represent the company when you register and to be able to authorise the blocking of the selected numbers.
Key points to remember –
- It takes up to 28 days to become active
- There are no charges
- You need to renew each year
- It is illegal for companies to contact you once the listing is active
- The home service is separate to this
- It is not government funded
- You need to qualify as a limited company or limited liability partnership or local equivalent
Now whilst it may seem that this is the ideal solution to stopping unwanted calls you should be aware that you also run the risk of missing out on opportunities that you or your colleagues may well be interested in and that could also benefit the business.
If are not registered and you feel that one company is being particularly aggressive in trying to sell to you then you can either contact them directly and request they stop and any responsible company will gladly comply and stop the calls. However if you feel it is beyond that point or they are operating in an unethical fashion then you can talk to the ICO.
Ultimately any telemarketing when operated responsibly is a legitimate marketing channel that is looking to deliver the right offer or product to you at the right time and will endeavour to help you to understand the benefits of that product.
How does this affect a telemarketing campaign?
For any telemarketing campaign you need to adhere to regulations 21 and 24. You can learn more on the ICO website but we will offer the core considerations here.
Regulation 21(1)(a) applies
If any subscriber requests no further contact you must comply.
Regulation 21(1)(b) applies
You cannot contact anyone that is registered on the TPS/CTPS for the purpose of telesales/telemarketing.
Regulation 21(3) applies
Registration takes 28 days to complete, you make calls during this period unless you have specifically been requested not to.
Regulation 21(4) applies
You may make telesales/telemarketing calls to those that are registered under the TPS/CTPS if they have given you permission to do so.
Regulation 21(5) applies
The subscriber can withdraw this permission at any time and all contact should then cease.
Regulation 24(1)(b) applies
You are required to identify yourself when making calls and should be able to provide a registered business address and contact telephone number if requested. If you are using an agency then they also should be able to provide those details for the contracting company.
Who is responsible for adherence to these regulations?
In the unfortunate event of a complaint being made the ICO will pursue the case with the parent company and not the specific agency conducting the calling. To that end they (and us) recommended you discuss this with anyone you bring in to conduct any telemarketing on your behalf and ensure you have suitable legal cover and the operating procedures that are in place to avoid this.
Is deleting their details enough?
Simply put, no! You need to run a separate list that is cross checked to ensure that anyone that has requested no contact, either in person or via the TPS/CTPS is contacted. If you simply delete them you will have no record of the removal request and leave yourself open to contacting them again.
I have brought data that contains TPS/CTPS subscribers. Can they be called?
In general no they cannot. By registering with the service this is essentially a blanket do not contact. The same applies when trying to contact different people within an organisation or household, it is the number that is blocked and not the person, so you cannot use that number to contact them.
Where do I get the CTPS/TPS data from?
The data is supplied directly from the CTPS site itself and is directly downloadable from them. We do recommend you keep this data as fresh as possible and screen all your databases against it.
Please note this is not intended as legal advice, simply guidelines to help you understand how to run a clean campaign. Should you require legal help in all instances, please do contact a legal professional.