Ofcom: Kitchens Direct Made Too Many Abandoned Calls

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Ofcom, the regulator for the UK communications industries, closed a case last month that found MKD Holdings Ltd. made too many abandoned calls to promote its Kitchens Direct business.

Kitchens Direct is a supplier of domestic kitchens and promotes its products and services mainly through telemarketing from six in-house call centers in the United Kingdom.

Ofcom said the number of abandoned calls, which are generated by automated calling systems, was high both in absolute terms and as a percentage of total calls made, amounting to a persistent misuse of an electronic communications network under the Communications Act 2003.

Two complaints were filed against MKD, one by the Direct Marketing Association (UK) and the second from a consumer. Ofcom started formal investigations in January. Ofcom found that from November to February, MKD made more than 26 million calls, of which only 11 million were live calls.

"At one point, one of the call centers reached silent call levels of 25 percent," Ofcom said in a statement.

Ofcom said it has received written commitments from MKD to take wide-ranging measures to address the problem, including:

· Ensuring that the drop rate of abandoned calls made each day is below 5 percent for each outgoing number.

· Ensuring that when a consumer has received an abandoned call, that number is not called again for at least 72 hours.

· Ofcom said it is monitoring MKD's performance to ensure compliance.


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