The 28 day rule is supported by many organisations and regulators

  • The Children's Society
  • Direct Marketing Association
  • The Financial Conduct Authority
  • Telephone Preference Service
  • Claims Management Regulator
  • TPS Services
  • Solicitors Regulation Authority
  • Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)
  • Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS)
  • TPS Checker
  • Federation of Small Businesses
  • British Chambers of Commerce
  • Association of British Insurers
  • The Charity Commission

What is the 28 day rule?

Your are legally obliged by law to screen any cold calling data against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) or Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) registers before making any calls.

You must do this at a minimum, every 28 days. It's the law.

The Data I bought was already TPS Screened

If you bought data that was TPS screened before it was supplied to you then you won’t need to screen it again for 28 days, once you reach the 28 period you must then re-screen the data.

It’s a common misconception that buying data that has already been TPS screened does not require ongoing screening. This is wrong.

Some data providers will either supply you with additional TPS updates throughout the year (usually every 28 days) following your data purchase or sign you up to a company like TPS Services where you can screen your data yourself for free for the year (the fee being covered by the data company directly).

What if I don’t?

Apart from complaints by consumers and bad press, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) can fine you between £5,000 and £500,000.

If you are a licensed business, you could lose your licence, have conditions imposed on you and your business in addition to having your business name published by the regulators together with the details of any fines or restrictions. If that’s not bad enough, many contracts will require you to inform your clients of any fines or imposed conditions on your licence and failure to do so could put you in breach of contract and liable to substantial damages. In short, failing to TPS screen is something every regulated business should take very seriously.

If your business operates as an Appointed Representative (AR) or Introducer Appointed Representative (IAR) in industries like insurance, then it is not uncommon for these arrangements to be pulled if your business receives TPS related complaints in order for the insurance company to protect its relationship with its regulators.

Why is it 28 days?

Although technology has come a long way, it’s not realistic to expect every company to be up to date immediately a number gets registered on the TPS register.
The regulators also appreciate that there is a practical time constraint between a company working a database, sending it off to be screened, getting the list back, implementing the new list in the company’s telemarketing team and then repeating that process.

That’s the same reason why consumers are told that once they register their number, they should allow 28 days for it to become effective.

Will the 28 day rule be changed?

It’s unlikely that the 28 day rule will change. Too many companies, especially the smaller ones, wouldn’t be able to cope with the technology necessary to make this process any quicker. That said, pressure form consumer groups like Which? is ever increasing because too many companies flout the TPS regulations. So changes are undoubtedly coming, it’s just a questions of what and when.