HC Deb 03 November 1989 vol 159 cc348-9W
Mr. Colvin

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which recommendations of the Office of Fair Trading set out in the document "Selling by telephone," in 1983 he has accepted; which of these have been implemented; and what are his reasons for not implementing the remainder.

Mr. Forth

Two of the recommendations in the 1984 report by the Office of Fair Trading on selling by telephone were addressed to Government.

The first related to automatic dialling equipment. Such equipment which transmits recorded messages or synthesised speech may only be used with the consent in writing of the intended recipient. Other such equipment which transmits speech or data has only been approved by the Director General of Telecommunications for connection to the public network where there are legitimate reasons for its use.

The Government have accepted the more recent advice of the Director General of Telecommunications that the new branch systems general licence, which will soon be granted under the Telecommunications Act 1984, should contain a condition requiring anyone making telephone sales calls not to do so in respect of any user who requests them to stop.

On the second recommendation, the Government are not convinced that there have been sufficient problems to require the introduction of a statutory cooling-off period for oral contracts resulting from unsolicited telephone calls.