What is Cold Calling?

What is cold calling?

Cold calling is a mysterious thing and we have all been subject to it. Have you ever had an unknown number call you trying to sell some sort of miscellaneous item or alternatively suggesting that you’ve been in a car accident recently? Well, this is what we would define as cold calling.


Cold Calling is specifically defined as: “the solicitation of business from potential customers who have never had prior contact with the salesperson who is conducting the call”.

The reason for cold calling is to attempt to convince potential customers to purchase an item or service that is being sold to them over the phone.

Cold calling is at times a useful tool for businesses but can often be a nuisance for customers. Here at Payday Bad Credit, we never abuse the method. 

Is Cold Calling Legal?

Cold calling and its legality it’s a complicated subject. It is technically a form of telemarketing, however, cold calling can often be seen in the form of door to door visits. This is simple, instead of calling you to explain the benefits of their product or service they will knock at your door and attempt to convince you face to face.

Although cold calling is technically legal it can be utilised by scammers to manipulate and abuse the customer.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 placed restrictions on how marketing as cold calls are to be handled, it also applied to unsolicited texts, emails and faces. The regulation essentially demanded that companies have to obtain an individual’s consent before pushing marketing communications onto them. So, therefore, if you give your consent it is legal.

When is Cold Calling Illegal?

Cold calling is illegal when an automated system generates multiple calls to multiple destinations, transmitting a voice that is not an actual person speaking but a recording of a salesperson which is being placed. The people who receive these calls are always being targeted. The 2003 Regulations banned this type of cold call.

But there are complications with all of this, if someone has previously consented to have a company communicate with them it is not illegal for the company to make automated calls. For this to be legal, the phone number from which the cold call is coming has to be displayed to the customer receiving the call.

Although they are largely out of use today, the use of a fax machine for the purpose of cold calling is also illegal. The 2003 Regulation prevents a company from sending random marketing faxes to individuals. Alike cold calls, if the company or individual has allowed for communications to be sent to them, the number of the fax sender and their address must be on display for legal processes.

So to recap, cold calling is illegal if:

  1. The individual has made it clear they do not wish to receive such calls

       2.   The recipient’s number is listed in the Telephone Preference Service register or the Corporate         Telephone Preference Service register

Social Media and Cold Calling


Cold Calling rules and regulations apply to digital marketing, in the form of texts, picture messages, video messages, voicemails and direct messages through social media. If you ever are confronted with an unsolicited product or service through social media, the company has indeed broken the law, and the company is behaving illegally and can be reported.

How do you get rid of cold callers?

By and large, we all will instinctively put the phone down as soon as we are able to tell that we are being called by a cold caller. You have to ask them to take you off the list, if you ask them, by law they are required to remove your name and number from the list because you are not consenting to their call.

To guarantee that they remove your number you should tell them that you have already asked to have your number removed and that you will not stand for it anymore. This will probably shock them into responding to your request, as their worst fear is to be reported for misconduct.

If you wish to take things further you can tell them you are registered with the Telephone Preference System, even if you are in fact not. You should ask for the name of the company and then once you are done on the phone you can report them to the Telephone Preference System Information Commissioner’s Office or just tell them that you will.

More extreme measures

Some people have found results in messing around with the person who is calling them. This could include staying silent or walking away with the phone still going as the salesperson will be the one paying for the call. Furthermore, some people find it useful to pretend to be someone else.

2018 Regulation Changes

The UK government has put forward that legislation to ban pensions cold calling will come into play in early 2018. People who are looking for a good pension are particularly vulnerable. If you are not educated these type of calls and the services and products being put forward to you can seem idealistic. Conservative MP Julia Lopez stated: “The government is committed to banning pensions cold-calling”. Figures suggest that almost £5 million was obtained by pension scammers in the first five months of 2017.

Daniel is a loans expert based in London and has been working in the payday loans industry since 2010.