New service to opt out of charity cold-calling – how to sign up

From Thursday (6 July), you’ll be able to register for the new service by entering your name and contact information on the the FPS website, or calling 0300 3033 517.

You’ll then have to identify the specific charities you no longer want to hear from – it’s not possible to simply opt out of all charity communications. If you’re doing this online, you can search for the charity via its name or registered charity number, which should be displayed on all its promotional material.

The FPS says you can block a maximum of three charities in any one online request, though if you want to block further charities you can submit a new request and this can be done on the same day. Alternatively you can block as many as you like with one phone call.

Once you’ve provided all the relevant details and submitted your request, the FPS will send an automatic email to the charity or charities concerned, setting them a 28-day deadline to remove your details from direct marketing lists.

If you’ve opted out, it’s been 28 days and you’re then contacted by the charity you’ve blocked, you should tell the FPS. The FPS can report charities which fail to comply with the rules to the Information Commissioner’s Office. It can ultimately prosecute them under the Data Protection Act and issue a fine of up to £25,000, though this would be as a last resort.

If you donate to a charity while it’s blocked from contacting you, that charity will have the right to ‘check in’ with you and see if you’re now happy to hear from it.

July 5, 2017