Cold Calling and the Law

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GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which has several options when it finds an organisation to be in breach of the act. Two of them are:

  • Monetary penalty notices
  • Prosecutions

Honesty, transparency and integrity are integral to data protection.

In order not to be in breach of data protection when making a cold call:


  1. Register with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
  2. Screen all your calls against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) for sole traders/ partnerships and the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) for limited companies and corporates.   Ensure that you screen the telephone numbers every 28 days.
  3. Ensure that you do not disguise a sales call as a market research call. This is called ‘sugging’ which means that you are selling under the disguise of research.
  4. If a prospect asks you not to call them then keep a list of those prospects and do not call them. Screen your calls against your own ‘do not call list’.
  5. Only record calls if you have informed the prospect that you are recording the call and have gained their consent to do so.
  6. If you are calling a purchased or rented database don’t take it for granted that the data seller will have complied with the law. It is your responsibility to comply.
  7. Even when calling existing customers and clients you will need their ‘consent’ to do so. I know that is hard to believe but it is in the new rules.
  8. Do not withhold your telephone number when making cold calls.
  9. Select a source of B2B data that is telephone verified for cold calling purposes.
  10. Limit the number of calls to companies to within a given time frame as calling them every day will be viewed as inappropriate.
  11. Use a CRM system that automatically ensures that your calls are GDPR compliant by storing consents, partner agreements and client data.
  12. Ensure that you have a ‘legitimate interest’ for calling.
  13. Do not call outside of normal business hours.

Following the rules will boost confidence in the cold calling industry and ultimately ensure that when prospects receive a cold call from you they’re happy to speak to you and that has to be a good thing for everyone concerned in the cold calling industry.


The content above is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest.  It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice.  I have attempted to ensure that the content is current but I do not guarantee its currency.  I am not legally qualified and you should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content above.


The Tallest Poppy Telemarketing                                                                                                                           Rotherham, Doncaster                                                                                                                                              01709 584039