Ofcom announced quite a few changes to their call centre guidelines in December 2016, focusing on the persistent misuse of calls as well as providing more clarity about how to approach silent and abandoned calls and IVM.
For instance Ofcom have moved the goalpost somewhat with regards to the previously accepted 3% threshold for abandoned calls (i.e. the drop rate), which they now say should not be considered a ‘safe harbour’. This could have a huge impact on outbound call centres moving forward, as many have adapted workflows with the 3% threshold in mind.
The fact is that abandoned and silent calls are now seen as ‘misuse’, which comes with the risk of being considered ‘persistent misuse’ and the fine of up to £2 million that can come with it.
Since Ofcom first floated this change in policy back in 2015, the industry as a whole has been lobbying during the consultation period and waiting anxiously for the result. After taking their time to consider all the arguments Ofcom announced last December that they would be sticking with the original proposal – which came into effect on 1 March 2017.