Telephone Preference Service for Business Data

The Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) was introduced to the UK in 2004. Whilst marketeers argued their rights to free trade into the commercial sector, the decision was taken to implement the service with business data for the benefit of sole traders and micro companies. The rationale in support of the micro business was how could they continue to operate if they spent hours each day answering the telephone to inbound marketing calls?

In theory larger organisations would have a switchboard dedicated to all inbound calls, so unsolicited calls should prove less of an issue for them. As such, a considerably lower percentage of larger companies are registered with the CTPS.

Whilst the Mailing Preference Service and Telephone Preference Service had already been in place for many years for consumers, the regulations applied to business data since 2004 carry a similarly stringent process.

All business data should be screened against the CTPS file within the month prior to calling. Failure to do this can result in a fine. Once a relationship has been established (such as an agreement to call back) the prospect may be called again in accordance with that agreement.

Best practice is to apply a monthly CTPS screening of your database for any records with no agreement to a call back. A common sense approach needs to be applied when marketing to your business data list. For example, a sole trader making a few hundred calls each month to their marketing list (which has not been screened for 6 – 8 weeks) is unlikely to face any fine. Should the CTPS receive complaints about this activity then they would most likely in the first instance issue a warning. Whereas a larger organisation making tens of thousands of monthly calls to a business data list which has not been screened for a year would be in flagrant breach of the regulations. In essence, the punishment needs to fit the crime.

Since 2010 Responsiva has offered several “Prize Draw” offers to our customers and prospects, where a few check-box questions are asked about their marketing activity and understanding of the CTPS file. Quite simply; what percentage of the UK’s business community are registered with the CTPS? Two thirds of those who submitted a response to this question thought that the figure was less than 30% of the file. The reality is that just over 30% of the business data universe is registered with the CTPS, which is higher than most think.

As a point of amusing fact, around 25% of telemarketing companies are registered with the CTPS. i.e., one quarter of the companies who make outbound telemarketing calls do not wish to receive inbound calls themselves. From a personal opinion I would regard this as an interesting contradiction.

Further information about the Corporate Telephone Preference Service can be found here: