Buying Mailing Lists

What is TPS Data?

…And what do you need to know about TPS Data? TPS, or the Telephone Preference Service is a database of individuals, sole traders & partnerships who have registered their telephone number wishing not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls.

It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS Database. This is why TPS Screening of data is employed.

…And what are the differences between The Telephone Preference and the Corporate Telephone Preference service?

The Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) is a register of corporate organisations (Limited & PLC Companies, Schools, Hospitals, Charities and Government)  who have registered their telephone number wishing not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls to all their organisation’s telephone numbers.

It is a legal requirement that companies do not make such calls to the numbers registered on this list. That’s why all data purchases via Data Bubble (B2B Data or Consumer Data) is screened (TPS Screening) prior to output so that it is CTPS and TPS compliant.

Are you TPS Data Compliant?

If you are making telesales and telemarketing telephone calls then you are required by law to check the telephone numbers against TPS Data.

Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 UK  companies, charities and individuals are required by law to check telephone numbers being used for sales and marketing calls every 28 days. They are required to remove numbers that are registered against the Telephone Preference & Corporate Telephone Preference and not to make any unsolicited sales calls to those numbers that are registered.

TPS Data made simple…  this is a list of consumers & companies who have registered to state that they do not want to receive sales and marketing calls.

So why should you screen against these TPS Data files? Companies including charities not meeting their legal obligations can be fined up to £6,500 for each registered number they call. Please see the Information Commissioners’ Extract available at www.ico.org.uk

TPS Data screening
Is your data TPS compliant? We’ll tell you how to keep TPS data compliant.

    Should I check against the TPS Database, CTPS data, or both?

    If you are only calling domestic numbers you only need to check against the Telephone Preference Service.

    If you are calling businesses, then you must check against The Corporate Telephone Preference Service, however you may also need to check against the Telephone Preference Service as well, this is due to the act that sole traders & partnership are registered on this file. If in doubt then you should screen against both.

    Don’t forget… all data purchases through us is screened and TPS data compliant.

    Can I call exiting customers that are listed on the TPS register?

    The regulation states that you should not make any unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals or corporate who have listed their telephone number (s) on the TPS register unless the subscribers has told you directly that they do not object to you calling them. i.e. they have taken positive action or given an indication that invites or opts in to receiving calls.

    Where a customer subsequently registers with the TPS, companies can contact the customer however it is good practice to clarify that they do not object to such calls.

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    How does TPS Screening work?

    TPS Screening is, in effect, a register of “Do not call” telephone numbers. It is a free service that you can register your telephone numbers with. Doing so tells companies you don’t want to receive any unsolicited sales calls. it is their responsibility to carry out TPS Screening on their database. 
     
    The service began in 1999, with Ofcom as its Regulator. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces it. They have the power to investigate companies who breach the rules. Where deemed necessary, they have the power to issue fines against those companies. The Direct Marketing industry funds the service and the UK taxpayer bears no costs.
     
    The TPS doesn’t stop companies calling that you have given your permission to. But it does stop those who you haven’t given your permission to. It also stretches to include charities, voluntary organisations and political parties.
    tps screening

    …lots more info on the TPS Data

    What about market research calls and surveys?

    The TPS data rules do NOT apply to genuine market research calls. Conducting a survey is fine, providing they don’t try to sell to you during the call. Event invitations and donation requests are classed as sales calls. Also, if they make a follow-up call later, they can’t then try to sell to you. That would be a breach of the TPS rules. In such circumstances, you have the right to report them to the ICO.

    How do I register with the TPS Database?

    You can register both landlines and mobiles. It takes 28 days for the number to become active on the TPS Data register. Any sales & marketing calls received within that time frame are ok. Your registration remains on there forever, but it’s worth checking on occasion. You can do this online. If you notice a sudden raft of unsolicited sales & marketing calls, check again. You can always re-register if need be.

    How do I contact the Telephone Prefernce Service?
    You can register any UK telephone number by the following methods:
    • Online: https://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html
    • Call from a mobile or landline: 0345 070 0707
    • Text from a mobile: Text “TPS”, along with an email address, to 85095
    • In writing: The Telephone Preference Service, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London W1W 8SS
    Is the TPS Service available to companies in the UK?
    Yes it is, and it’s called the Corporate TPS (CTPS). It’s open to Corporate bodies (Limited Companies, LLPs etc). Companies must register every number they wish to include on the list.
    Registering the main switchboard number will only add that number to the list. 
    Unsolicited calls made to any unregistered numbers are allowable, subject to other Laws and Regulations surrounding sales and marketing calls.
    As a telemarketing company, how do I comply with TPS?
    Companies that conduct sales or marketing calls must check the TPS / CTPS registers first. This should be done every 28 days. Should they fail to do so, they risk calling a number registered with the service. To call a registered number could be breaking the law. This could leave them open to receiving a fine from the ICO. Screening your data against the register is easy and inexpensive. For more information, email us at info.databubble.info or call us on 01274 965411.
    What if I receive unsolicited calls after registering with the TPS?
    Take a note of the company they represent and the name of the person calling. They must provide you with this, as well as their telephone number. Once you have this, tell them that you have registered with the TPS. This usually brings about a swift end to the call. It’s also worth noting the date & time of the call (and any later calls). Once the call has ended, you have the option of reporting them to the ICO. You can do this via their website https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ or by calling them on 0303 123 1113.

    What are your TPS obligations?

    Do you know what The Telephone Preference Service is and what your Obligations are? Read our blog to find out more about The Telephone Preference Service & Your Obligations

    Having received a sales call from a competitor last week I felt compelled to write a blog about the The Telephone Preference Service.

    During my years or more in this industry, I have come across quite a number of different practices – some good, some bad and some downright ugly! Unfortunately, whilst most of us within the industry strive to ensure all good practices are met, laws are adhered to and codes of conduct are followed, there are a few whose actions are questionable, shall we say. So, for the avoidance of doubt and hopefully to enlighten some, here are some guidelines regarding the Telephone Preference Service and our / your obligations surrounding their application.

    What The Law States about The Telephone Preference Service

    If you are making outbound sales and / or telemarketing calls, then you are required to check the telephone numbers against the Telephone Preference Service register (TPS / CTPS) prior to making your calls. Furthermore, under current legislation, which includes the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (commonly referred to as PECR), UK companies, charities and individuals are required by law to check telephone numbers being used for sales and marketing calls every 28 days. You are required to remove any numbers that appear on the register and not to make any unsolicited calls to those numbers.

    What If I’m Not Selling Them Anything?

    I often get asked this by companies either conducting market research or looking to invite people to an event. In short, if you are genuinely not conducting the call with an end purpose of making a sale, i.e. for pure market research, then you do not need to screen against the registers. That said, if you make what starts out to be a research call to someone on the register, then during the call it becomes a sales call, or if you call with market research one day, then the following week call again to try and sell them something, this does require screening, so be certain of your end goal and don’t fall foul.

    If you call with the purpose of inviting someone to a seminar / conference / event, this is deemed a sales call and as such you must screen against the files so as not to be in breach of the law.

    We always err on the side of caution when advising clients if they need to screen, since the ramifications of getting it wrong are significant. To this extent, unless you can satisfy us beyond doubt that you are conducting market research only (i.e. you are a member of the Market Research Society (MRS)), any data we supply to you will be screened.

    What if I Choose Not to Screen Against the Files?

    Companies and individuals who appear on this register have chosen not to receive sales and marketing calls. As such, companies (including charities) who choose not to screen but subsequently call a number on the register can be fined up to £6,500 for each registered number they call. Further, higher fines can also be imposed if a breach is deemed severe enough to warrant it.

    Should I check against the TPS, CTPS or both?

    If you are calling only domestic numbers, you need only check against the TPS register. If calling businesses, you must check against the CTPS and the TPS register.

    What About SMS Texting?

    This could be a whole separate blog, though basically, TPS laws and opt-ins still apply. You must also give an opportunity to stop receiving future texts and, when receiving such a request, action it immediately.

    How do I screen my records?

    With only rare exception (i.e. market research), all data purchases made with Data Bubble that contain telephone numbers are screened against the TPS / CTPS prior to being output. However, this only lasts for 28 days. Further TPS / CTPS screening is therefore required if you continue to make sales and marketing calls beyond this time scale (Data Bubble offers this screening service – contact me for more information).

    There is lots of information online about the laws and your obligations, though the one-stop-shop for such advice is www.tpsonline.org.uk

    Should you wish to clean your own data including TPS Screening then call us on 01274 965411 and we will be happy to advise you.

    What is the difference between TPS and CTPS?

    The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a register of individuals, sole traders and partnerships who have chosen not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls. The Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) is a register of corporate organisations (Limited Companies, PLCs, schools, hospitals, charities, Government Departments) who have chosen not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing calls.

    Can I call my existing customers that are listed on the TPS / CTPS register?

    The regulations state that you should not make any unsolicited direct marketing calls to any individual or organisation listed on the registers, unless they have told you directly that they do not object to you calling them, i.e. they have taken a positive action that invites or opts in to receiving sales and / or marketing telephone calls from you.

    Where a customer subsequently registers with the TPS / CTPS, you may still contact the customer. However, it is good practice to clarify at the time you become aware, that they do not object to your calls.

    And Finally…DO NOT DO THIS!

    I’ll finish on what I am beginning to understand is quite a popular activity – jotting down phone numbers from the side of vans, trucks etc and then texting / calling them. This is at best unethical (in my opinion) and at worst, potentially in breach of the laws. In short, no matter who says you should do it, DON’T DO IT. Remember, if you fall foul of the laws by undertaking such a practice, pleading that “someone you know said you could do it” will not make a suitable defence and you could find your pockets significantly lighter!