Use of automatic calling system

Mr Brown made this Freedom of Information request to Northwards Housing Limited

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was successful.

Dear Northwards Housing Limited,

I understand that some Housing Associations use automatic calling systems to contact tenants for various reasons including those who may be in arrears with their rent payments. I also understand that the use of automated calling systems is subject to Ofcom’s Persistent Mis-use Statement (December 2016) and UK Data Protection Legislation and enforced by the Information Commissioners Office.

I’d like you to provide the following information in this regard:

1/ Does your organisation use an automatic calling system or systems to contact tenants?

If so,

2/ Who is the manufacturer/provider of the system?

3/ How long have you been using the system?

4/ For what specific purpose(s) do you use the system?

5/ Can you demonstrate Ofcom compliance through system reports?

6/ Does the system provide a mechanism to prevent specific tenants from being called?

I look forward to receiving your reply soon.

Yours faithfully,

Mr Brown

Yvette Newton, Northwards Housing Limited

Dear Mr Brown,

I am in receipt of your request received via the what do they know website.

Your request is being looked into and the deadline for providing this information is 20 working days. However, I will try and provide the information as soon as possible.

If you have any questions in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank You

Yvette Newton

Yvette Newton
Governance Support Manager
Business Effectiveness & Communications
NORTHWARDS HOUSING
Hexagon Tower, Crumpsall Vale, Blackley, Manchester, M9 8GQ

0161 720 5877
07706 869 415

www.northwardshousing.co.uk
Registered Company number - 05435061

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show quoted sections

Yvette Newton, Northwards Housing Limited

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Mr Brown,

 

Further to your Freedom of Information Request please find the response to
your questions below.

 

 1. Does your organisation use an automatic calling system or systems to
contact tenants?
No, the system that is used is not an automatic calling system it is a
bespoke outbound call server that is linked to intelligent call
selection.

If so,

 

 2. Who is the manufacturer/provider of the system?
The service is being provided by Voicescape Limited.

 

 3. How long have you been using the system?
The system for surveys went live on 3rd December of this year.

 

 4. For what specific purpose(s) do you use the system?
For surveying tenants about their experience of our repairs service
and, from January, for initiating contact with tenants as part of our
rent recovery procedures.

 

 5. Can you demonstrate Ofcom compliance through system reports?
Services provided by Voicescape Limited to Northwards Housing, are
fully Ofcom compliant. In 2017 the UK communications regulator Ofcom
introduced new regulations about silent and abandoned calls. This is
only an issue when using traditional dialler technology. We use an
in-house outbound call server that is linked to intelligent call
selection to ensure calls are only made that have been correctly
scheduled.

The Ofcom compliance focuses in the following areas;

 

3.1. Handling Silent and Abandoned Calls

Voicescape do not make silent calls and the system does not allow
customers to make them using our platform. We always identify who the call
is from in the call message and by displaying an identifiable number.
Silent and abandoned calls are created by “dialler” technology
over-calling customers. Our service does not rely on this type of
hardware.

 

3.2. TPS Compliance and the Right To Opt-Out

The Telephone Preference Service maintains a list of numbers for people
who do not want to receive calls made for “direct marketing purposes”. As
Voicescape are calling to provide a service to the end user, rent
collection, medicine reminders etc there is no requirement to check the
TPS records or allow for them to opt out. Callers can be unsubscribed from
our services if required.

 

3.3. Display Numbers and Calling Back In

We always display a number that the call is coming from and provide an
ability for the end-user to return the call so that they know who called
them. We do not make anonymous calls or allow them to be made from our
platform.
Ofcom’s Persistent Mis-use Statement (December 2016) refers to
organisations that use automatic calling systems for sales and direct
marketing purposes.

 

 6. Does the system provide a mechanism to prevent specific tenants from
being called?
We have undertaken an exercise to exclude all tenants who are hard of
hearing and those deemed vulnerable. However, we recognise that
situations change so will be revisiting who will be excluded from the
calls on a regular basis through the 'unsubscribe' function.

If you have any queries relating to the way your request has been handled
please respond to this email. Please note that requests for new or
additional information will be treated as new requests.

 

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your request you have the
right to apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a review of
the decision. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:
Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow,
Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Regards

 

Yvette

 

 

Yvette Newton
Governance Support Manager
Business Effectiveness & Communications
NORTHWARDS HOUSING
Hexagon Tower, Crumpsall Vale, Blackley, Manchester,  M9 8GQ

0161 720 5877

07706 869 415

 

[1][IMG]     [2][IMG]    [3][IMG]

www.northwardshousing.co.uk
Registered Company - 05435061

 

Northwards Housing - a not for profit arms length management company
managing City Council homes in North Manchester.

 

Confidentiality: This e-mail and attachments are intended for the above
named only and may be confidential. If you have received this in error
please notify the sender immediately then permanently delete the message
from your computer. 

 

Viruses: We have taken steps to ensure that this e-mail and attachments
are free from any computer viruses. However, we advise that the recipient
should carry out their own checks to confirm this. We cannot be held
responsible for any loss or damage caused by virus infection.

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