Thousands of voters who have asked not to be contacted on the phone are being cold-called by campaigners hoping to change the voting system.And the reason?
A Yes to Fairer Votes phone canvassing guide in Oxfordshire explicitly calls on pro-AV campaigners to ignore phone rules.That’s right, ‘We’re too important to follow the rules.’
It says: ‘Since this is a political campaign, we will be calling people on the caller preference service.
‘If someone asks why they have been called because they normally opt out, explain that [the rule] only applies to those marketing products, and therefore doesn’t apply to us because of the importance of the electoral campaign. If they get angry, end the call politely.’
The Commissioner may take ‘enforcement action’ against offenders and those affected by cold calling may sue organisations that break the rules.Will they? Remains to be seen…
Yes campaign sources said they were not aware of the Oxfordshire memo and stopped the cold calling when it was brought to their attention.‘Unaware of the Oxfordshire memo’, eh? A likely story…
A campaign spokesman said: ‘We have been in discussions with the Information Commissioner’s Office as we are anxious to ensure that we comply with the spirit and letter of all regulations regarding the referendum.’