UK Consumers spend over £25 billion on postal sales per year, so it is fair to say that most welcome the information and the special offers they receive in them. However, not everyone wants to receive such offers and the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) records their right to decline mailings.
Unwanted, unread Direct Mail has no place in anyone’s home and gives the direct mail industry a bad name – junk mail. And in most cases it can be prevented by careful targeting and checking against the MPS register. Failure to take these steps not only results in hefty fines but also damages your brand and corporate image. Many people who register on MPS have suffered a recent bereavement and they simply want to stop future mailings being sent to the deceased, which causes avoidable distress. Also, why go to the expense, pay for postage and print and send that expensive item to someone that is likely to bin mail without opening it?
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the central opt out register on which consumers (and businesses in the case of Corporate Telephone Preference CTPS) can record their preference not to receive sales and marketing calls. This includes land lines and mobile numbers. It is a legal requirement that no organisations make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS or CTPS register unless they have your consent to do so. Failure to check your numbers against these registers can result in a fine of up to £5,000 – for each call you shouldn’t have made!
If you have dealt with individuals or business customers for a while, you should already have gathered their consent to call them in relation to your relationship. That does not mean you have the write to contact and sell them services that they have not already signed up to. Therefore, unless they have specifically told you that they don’t mind receiving sales calls, you should screen these records too.
The TPS extends to mobile telephone numbers but only in relation to marketing voice calls – and should include SMS (text) messages.
As TPS registration only prevents marketing calls, organisations can still call TPS registered numbers for the purposes of genuine market research.
Disclaimer – always check the latest laws yourself, as the above content may advice may be out of date.