Local MSP Jackie Baillie has pushed for the Scottish Government to act to tackle nuisance calls and texts, following a Scottish Labour debate in Holyrood.
Jackie has demanded that the Scottish Government commits to using certified companies and publishes an action plan to target nuisance calls in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute.
According to research by Ofcom, more than eight in 10 people in the UK received nuisance calls on their landline over a one month period.
Consumer organisation Which?’s research found that a quarter (23%) of Scottish consumers have received an unwanted call but have not reported it, stating that they don’t know where to complain.
Eight in 10 Scottish people (81%) support greater accountability over nuisance calls by directors being personally fined if their company breaks the rules.
One particular issue raised in Which’s petition feedback is the Government’s Green Deal scheme on energy efficiency, with many respondents subject to persistent unwanted calls promoting the issue.
Scottish Labour believes that the Scottish Government must do more to make sure that future programmes such as these do no not end up in the hands of marketing agencies.
Labour has used a Holyrood debate to push for the Scottish Government to publish an action plan on the issue, including ensuring that efforts to tackle unwanted calls are included in procurement procedures, particularly making sure that agencies acting on the government’s behalf and promoting government schemes are Telephone Preference Service (TPS) Assured.
Additionally, they have called on the Government to undertake a privacy impact assessment before launching new projects.
Major companies like SSE and BT have pledged their support for Which’s campaign by making a public commitment to tackle nuisance calls.
Jackie said: “I know from my recent roving surgeries that nuisance calls and texts are a huge issue for people here in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh, infringing on their privacy and making daily life a misery, particularly for older and more vulnerable members of the community.
“National consumer research shows huge frustration and many simply do not know what action they can take.
“There is plenty that the Scottish Government can do to help tackle unwanted calls -; and the first step should be to ensure that companies they are working with through procurement are assured through the Telephone Preference Service.
“There a number of recommendations from consumer organisations which the Scottish Government can implement. It’s time for the SNP to look at this issue affecting people right here in West Dunbartonshire and Argyll and Bute, and publish an action plan setting out exactly what it will do to tackle nuisance calls