What is TAPA?
TAPA is an independent practice and is not a government organisation. TAPA stops unsolicited charity sponsorship advertising sales approaches being made to businesses by way of telephone, fax and email that do not wish to receive these types of unsolicited marketing approaches. TAPA also provides representation, advice and legal assistance to businesses that are being targeted by unscrupulous support publishing firms or ‘charity advertising firms’ that coerce the selling of advertising space through unsolicited sales telephone calls for purported sponsorship publications on behalf of charities, the emergency services, schools and other community themed publications.
TAPA is the only practice in the UK that provides this type of service to businesses. This service is a much needed and vital role in the market place. The need for this service is clearly evident. TAPA monitors the trading practices and the number of complaints being reported to our practice against support publishing firms. When the number of complaints received against a support publishing firm achieve a level of concern in the interest of public safety, TAPA presents a report to Companies Investigation Branch, Trading Standards or the Police where necessary in order to achieve an official investigation in to the trading and accounting practices of such firms. Investigations that are actioned against support publishing firms usually result in these firms being wound up in the High Court.
TAPA monitors the trading practices of telemarketing firms we receive complaints against. If telemarketing firms continue to contact telephone numbers that we have requested they do not contact, TAPA will report these telemarketing firms to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Office of Communications (Ofcom) and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) where necessary on behalf of the consumers and businesses we represent.
When did TAPA begin practicing?
TAPA was founded in 2007 and was introduced to provide assistance and representation to businesses involved in contractual disputes with support publishing firms. Large numbers of businesses find themselves victims of various charity advertising sales scams or find themselves inundated with unlawful unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone requests or payment demands for sponsorship advertising they do not want to participate in. Many others find themselves legally bound to uncompromising terms and conditions of contract that was not highlighted to them at the point of verbal agreement, resulting in severe financial consequences for them.
Since then, TAPA has introduced a range of additional services to help other businesses and consumers that are receiving all types of unsolicited marketing approaches by way of telephone, fax and email from telemarketing firms. TAPA has developed a very successful strategy in dealing with the prevention of all telemarketing approaches from anywhere in the world to consumers and businesses based in the UK and provides a level of service that no other service provider offers to its clients.
What are TAPA’s policies?
TAPA’s primary function is to prevent unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone calls from support publishing firms being made to UK businesses that do not wish to receive these types of sales telephone calls. TAPA is the legally instructed representatives of the businesses that are registered on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger and investigates any unsolicited charity advertising sales approaches made verbally or in writing to these businesses to ensure they do not become victims of an advertising scam. If businesses that have instructed TAPA find themselves in receipt of any unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone calls or improper demands for payment at any time, TAPA will make representation on behalf of these businesses where necessary to ensure that the support publishing firms responsible withdraw their demands and do not make any further unsolicited approaches to these businesses at any time. TAPA will help to achieve this objective by subsidising the cost of legal representation where necessary.
TAPA’s secondary function is to monitor the trading practices of support publishing firms that our practice receives complaints against. Where the number of complaints TAPA receives against any one particular firm achieves a level of concern in the interest of public safety, TAPA will present a report to Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) where the concern is regarding a limited company or to Trading Standards where the concern is regarding a non-limited status firm, detailing our findings together with copies of the complaints we have received from our clients.
What is ‘The TAPA Opt Out Ledger’?
The TAPA Opt Out Ledger is the alphabetically indexed register that is hosted and administered by TAPA where businesses that have instructed our practice to make representation on their behalf regarding contractual disputes with support publishing firms that do not wish to receive unsolicited sponsorship advertising sales telephone calls from support publishing firms are indexed for support publishing firms to edit their details from their databases. All of the businesses that are indexed on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger are also registered on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) central opt out register.
Any support publishing firms that make unsolicited sales telephone calls to businesses indexed on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger are practicing unlawfully and face being prosecuted through the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The TAPA Opt Out Ledger is broadcasted on this website for support publishing firms endeavouring to trade lawfully that respect the wishes and legal rights of businesses that do not wish to receive these types of sales telephone calls to edit their data accordingly against the businesses that are indexed on there.
What is a Support Publishing Firm?
A support publishing firm, also often referred to as a ‘charity advertising firm’ is a telemarketing firm that contacts businesses by way of unsolicited sales telephone calls to entice businesses to purchase advertising space in publications they claim to publish that feature charitable or community themed articles to raise awareness in the public interest. These firms usually claim that proceeds from their turnover will be passed on to worthy causes in order to generate sales. A large number of these firms exaggerate the amount of money they claim to pass on to worthy causes in order to generate sales.
In many cases, support publishing firms fail to pass on any of their turnover to worthy causes. Many firms trade unlawfully and fail to design, publish and distribute purported publications. Support publishing firms that ultimately publish literature usually theme their publications on the work of charities, the emergency services, personal safety and schools. These types of publications are often poorly produced and contain articles that are not fit for publication due to multiple punctuation and grammar errors and articles that are obsolete. Many operators do not have publishing experience and are not sufficiently qualified to produce such literarture for the public domain.
Why did TAPA begin practicing?
TAPA began practicing in 2007 in order to provide assistance to businesses that were involved in contractual disputes with support publishing firms and to help stop unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone calls being made to businesses that did not want to receive unsolicited approaches from support publishing firms. TAPA’s founders established that although there were government regulatory bodies in place that provided advice and assistance to all businesses that believed their statutory rights had been compromised in any type of commercial transaction, there were no specific organisations in place that solely provide help and assistance to businesses that were involved in contractual disputes with support publishing firms.
As there was no bespoke opt out register in place specifically directed at the support publishing industry where businesses could register their details to broadcast their entitlement to not receive unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone calls, TAPA’s founders believed that introducing such a register would help stop these types of calls being made to businesses if support publishing firms were made aware of and could be convinced to adhere to such a register. The official UK central opt out register that all telemarketing firms are legally obliged to edit their tele data against is often not adhered to due to telemarketing firms having to pay fees to view the register and enforcement action not being very severe for light offenders. Although TAPA’s founders understood that it was not practical for each sales industry to have its own opt out register, the problem for businesses had become so bad that they believed in this instance the concept needed to be trialled.
TAPA’s vision was to achieve two main objectives. The first was to provide an opt out register that was quickly and easily accessible for support publishing firms to edit their data against efficiently without any cost or registration process involved to them. The second was to create a service that practiced solely to assist businesses involved in contractual disputes with support publishing firms that was affordable for all businesses and removed the financial burden of businesses having to worry about subsidising expensive legal representation that they may not otherwise be able to afford. A factor that many unscrupulous support publishing firms rely on when targeting small businesses.
TAPA’s founders believed that if an opt out register could be created specifically directed at the support publishing industry that could be monitored anonymously without any charge or registration process involved for support publishing firms to screen their call data against, the problem may be largely reduced for businesses that did not want to receive these types of advertising sales calls. Furthermore, if it was publicized that businesses that were being assisted were also registered on the TPS central opt out register, support publishing firms would know that contacting any businesses that were listed on this unofficial, free to view register would be unlawful. This concept would leave support publishing firms of the understanding that they would now have no excuse to cold call businesses that did not want to receive these types of sales calls.
If certain support publishing firms still did not screen their call data against this customised register and action was then taken against these offenders as a result, it would send a clear message to the support publishing industry that this type of behaviour would not be tolerated. Furthermore, this concept would act as a conduit to channel intelligence about the trading practices of support publishing firms to government authorities. To the delight of the founders of TAPA, this concept has become a remarkable success. The response from the support publishing industry has been remarkable to the degree where businesses are almost guaranteed in all instances that these types of unsolicited sales calls will be completely stopped within 60 days of registering their details on to what has now become established as ‘The TAPA Opt Out Ledger’.
What fees does TAPA charge for its services? Does TAPA provide any free services?
All of TAPA’s subscription charges for all of the services TAPA provides can be found by selecting the ‘Terms of Service’ links that browsers will find on every page of this website. Browsers will find these links in the bottom footer and in the left hand section of links featured on every page of this website. TAPA does provide free counselling to consumers and businesses regardless of their financial position on our helpline number; 0800 773 4894. Consumers and businesses are welcome to contact TAPA as often as they require and our representatives will assist them as much as possible without them incurring any charges.
One of TAPA’s key policies is to provide a service that is affordable to all regardless of consumers and businesses financial positions. TAPA believes it has achieved this with the various premiums we have put in place. The services TAPA provides are by far one of the most inexpensive services available to consumers and businesses in the UK for the level of service they can receive. TAPA does its utmost to ensure our services are affordable to all and is always reviewing our premiums. TAPA will continue to review its premiums and is very happy with the current premiums we have put in place. There are no hidden costs involved with any of TAPA services.
If I want to stop sales calls, should I not just register my telephone number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which is a free service that will make it unlawful for telemarketing firms to contact me? Surely that will stop sales calls being made to my number? Why do I need to pay TAPA to stop sales calls? What does TAPA actually do for me?
Many consumers and businesses being targeted by telemarketing firms have registered their details with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to make it unlawful for UK based telemarketing firms to contact them to offer their products and services. Large telemarketing firms including financial institutions, blue chip companies, utility firms and other reputable telemarketers in the public eye do trade lawfully by screening their tele data against the TPS central opt out register. However, there are lots of telemarketing firms based in the UK that do not adhere to the regulations and unlawfully contact consumers and businesses that have registered their details with the TPS. This is due to enforcement action being very lenient for light offenders and the cost of viewing the TPS register being expensive. Furthermore, the regulations only extend to telemarketing firms in England and Wales.
Telemarketing firms trading from other countries and overseas are not bound by the regulations and can still contact consumers and businesses in the UK that have registered with the TPS. Large numbers of overseas telemarketing firms target their products and services to UK consumers and businesses. It is also lawful for any telemarketing firm even if they operate from England or Wales to contact any consumers and businesses for the purpose of market research. Unfortunately, TPS registration cannot stop market research telephone calls being made to consumers and businesses even if they have registered their details with the TPS. Many telemarketing firms take advantage of this legal loophole in the law and simply alter their sales pitch to begin their approach in the format of a market research telephone call in order to later inform the recipients of their products and services.
Many consumers and businesses are not aware of these factors and are under a false impression that TPS registration will stop all unsolicited telephone calls being made to them. It also takes 28 days before it becomes unlawful for firms to contact telephone numbers that have registered with the TPS. Registrants may not see any kind of reduction in unsolicited sales telephone calls being made to their number for 4 weeks after registering their details with the TPS. By the time calls may then start to reduce, registrants may have already lost faith in their registration. For these reasons, consumers and businesses still continue to receive large numbers of unsolicited sales telephone calls from many telemarketing firms after they have registered their details with the TPS. Many of our clients have previously registered their details with the TPS and informed us that unsolicited calls did reduce but not to a number that they found satisfactory. The TPS is an excellent way of reducing unsolicited marketing approaches but that is all TPS registration will do.
TAPA registration offers to ultimately stop all unsolicited sales telephone approaches being made to consumers and businesses that do not want to receive any approaches at all. TAPA does register its clients with the TPS to assist us in our efforts but this action is only part of the process that is required to stop all unsolicited sales telephone approaches being made to consumers and businesses. TAPA also registers all of its clients on to the silent call register to prevent silent calls being made to our clients as well. However, once instructed, clients of TAPA will experience positive results straight away as TAPA will begin to approach offenders immediately and not after 28 days of registering with us.
TAPA will also directly contact by way of telephone and in writing any telemarketing firm in the UK and overseas that we receive a complaint against in order to prevent these firms contacting our clients again in the future. TAPA will undertake this task every time we receive a complaint from our clients. If telemarketing firms fail to adhere to our requests, TAPA will take further action against such firms at this stage. This may be in the form of a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Office of Communications (Ofcom) and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). TAPA will also subsidise if necessary, legal action against firms that do not comply with our requests under Section 40 of the Administration of Justice Act 1970 and will report telemarketing firms to the Police in these circumstances.
TAPA also registers all of our clients telephone numbers on to TAPA’s International Opt Out Ledger that is broadcasted on this website for telemarketing firms to edit their tele data against. TAPA issues login details for access to TAPA’s International Opt Out Ledger to every telemarketing firm that we receive a complaint against in order for firms to be able to constantly edit their tele databases against to ensure no further telephone calls are made to our clients. TAPA also provides unlimited counselling, data and crucial blocking codes to our clients to permanently block certain callers getting through to their telephone lines including callers that withheld their telephone number when calling and callers that do not. This information saves our clients from having to purchase unnecessary telephone blocking equipment that can be quite expensive and intrusive.
How long will it take before TAPA stops sales calls to my telephone number?
Generally, the industry response by other service providers to this question is 28 days. You may have been told this by some of TAPA’s competitors already. However, this answer is not actually true and any service provider that tells you this is being disingenuous and they know from experience that this answer is simply not true. The honest answer and the only answer you should ever be given is that there is no guarantee that an unsolicited sales telephone call will never be made to your telephone number ever again. A service provider in this industry cannot guarantee the actions of a third party. From time-to-time, lawfully trading firms may make a mistake and dial a number without checking it first and there will always be large numbers of telemarketing firms trading unlawfully until enforcement action is increased.
No service provider in the world offering to stop unsolicited sales telephone calls to your telephone number that is worth their salt should ever give you any other answer than that. It is likely that you may always receive a random unsolicited sales telephone call from time-to-time. Telemarketing firms purchase data that can be years old that may contain your telephone number on there from when before you had instructed TAPA. If you are in the BT Phone Book or you are a business that advertises in various media sources and on the internet, there will always be telemarketing firms that will find your details and contact you without checking you telephone number first against the TPS register.
TAPA will immediately take action on your behalf against these firms at which time you report them to us and will do everything within our power to ensure that these firms do not contact you again. With the exception of such callers, TAPA will ultimately stop all unsolicited sales telephone calls being made to your telephone number but this will not reduce to next to nil after 28 days has passed. TAPA will reduce the amount of sales calls you receive by approximately 98% usually within 60 days of instruction and this time frame is often much quicker. It depends how bad the problem was for you before you instructed TAPA. Some of our clients may have only been receiving a small number of sales calls and others receiving incredible amounts.
With the exception of an occasional call all telephone owners may always receive, TAPA will get rid of these problems for you permanently for the term of your instruction and will immediately take action on your behalf regarding any random unsolicited sales telephone calls you report to us. You will notice immediate results from day one and TAPA is confident that no other service provider in the industry will provide you with the same level of service that TAPA provides its clients with. Always make sure that you read the small print before instructing any service provider.
If I have registered my details with the TPS, sought help off Consumer Direct, Trading Standards, Citizens Advice or the Police to stop the problems I am having with support publishing firms and the problem has not stopped, how can TAPA stop the problem? Why will unscrupulous support publishing firms take any notice of TAPA? How do support publishing firms know that my details are entered on to The TAPA Opt Out Ledger? Do they edit their tele data against this ledger? Can TAPA really guarantee to stop the problems I am having with these firms permanently?
Yes, TAPA guarantees to stop the problem for businesses permanently as soon as they instruct us to do so. Firstly, Consumer Direct and Citizens advice are free consumer advice services that inform businesses of their legal rights and what the law says. They cannot contact support publishing firms and demand they desist from contacting certain businesses because a business has made accusations against them. This is not their roles in the community and there are two sides to every story. Sometimes businesses may not furnish these organisations with the correct facts or simply offer hearsay. Some complaints are made maliciously under false pretences. Businesses often expect these organisations to shut firms down because they have made a complaint against them or expect them to raid their place of work.
Businesses do not have the same rights as consumers and if two businesses are in a contractual dispute with one another then both parties will eventually have to get the matter settled in Court regardless of the accusation a business may be making against a support publishing firm. Trading Standards monitor the number of complaints being made against firms nationally and will investigate firms when there is lots of evidence to warrant investigation. They will also investigate serious complaints quickly such as fraud, counterfeit activity and the distribution of illegal goods. Trading Standards will take action against firms where necessary but cannot provide individual businesses that have a complaint with legal representation or demand the firm not contact them again.
Lots of businesses expect Trading Standards to take their complaint in the same light as a Court ruling and insist they withdraw their demands or halt the firm from trading as a result of their complaint. Trading Standards cannot just attack support publishing firms or officially investigate them because a business has made an accusation of malpractice. Trading Standards have to operate fairly and listen to both sides of an argument. If a support publishing firm informs Trading Standards that the complaint that has been made against their firm is false, Trading Standards cannot demand they cancel an account because a complainant is making allegations against that firm. If Trading Standards approach a firm that they have received a complaint against and the firm denies any wrong doing and refuses to discontinue pursuing a business for payment because they feel they have practiced in accordance with the law, Trading Standards cannot insist the firm withdraws their demands and demand they cancel any existing contract with the business.
Many businesses expect Trading Standards to provide instant remedies to problems they are encountering with support publishing firms and expect them to take their side and join forces with them when they make a complaint. If Trading Standards do not achieve an instant or ideal solution that businesses are satisfied with, businesses can become distressed and annoyed. Some businesses misunderstand the role of Trading Standards and do not appreciate that they cannot simply wave a magic wand and eradicate problems they are encountering with support publishing firms. Trading Standards cannot be held legally responsible or be blamed if a business finds themselves the victims of a charity advertising sales scam or is being unlawfully contacted by way of telephone from support publishing firms.
Businesses can eventually give in under the pressure they are being put under if they are receiving persistent written threats of court proceedings and threats of County Court Judgements being issued against them if they do not forward payment to support publishing firms. Not every business owner has the mental strength and confidence to remain vigilant if they are on the receiving end of persistent threats through fear that these proceedings may eventually be instigated and the consequences that may arise from such actions. Appointing TAPA removes the stress and burden of businesses having to deal with these problems themselves and allows them quiet enjoyment to run their business without being interrupted while TAPA deals with these problems on their behalf.
Lots of businesses inform TAPA they have made a complaint to the Police and were not happy with the response they got. The Police are in place to investigate crime. If a crime has not taken place which is usually the case when two businesses are in a contractual dispute with one another, there is little help the Police can offer businesses. It is simply not in their remit. The Police cannot demand businesses stop pursuing other businesses for monies if a business informs the police that the other business lawfully owes them that money. The Police are not there to investigate these types of civil matters or civil disputes.
In regards to the TPS, although registering your details on to the TPS central opt out register makes it unlawful for telemarketing firms to contact your telephone number to offer their products and services, unscrupulous support publishing firms do not edit their tele data against the TPS register. This is due to enforcement action being very lenient for light offenders and the cost of viewing the TPS register being expensive. Support publishing firms are aware that it is unlikely that any serious reprimands will ever happen and they will simply just continue to receive standard formatted complaint forms that when ignored will not be followed up. The lack of enforcement action allows these firms to basically get away with ignoring the regulations.
Unlike the TPS register, The TAPA Opt Out Ledger is dedicated for the benefit of the support publishing industry only and no other type of telemarketing firm. Furthermore, it is free to view by support publishing firms and broadcasted on this website 24/7/365. TAPA also does not require support publishing firms to register their details with our practice in order to be eligible to view the Ledger. Firms can simply view The TAPA Opt Out Ledger anonymously at no financial cost to themselves. The TAPA Opt Out Ledger is updated each time a new client instructs TAPA. The TAPA Opt Out Ledger can be viewed by selecting the first link in the top left hand column of this website and it is indexed in alphabetical order, making it very easy for support publishing firms to use. A verification check can be achieved in less than a few seconds.
Furthermore, as The TAPA Opt Out Ledger is the only register of its kind in the UK that is directed specifically at the support publishing industry, it provides support publishing firms with a register bespoke to themselves that they can refer to and edit their data against. Support publishing firms monitor The TAPA Opt Out Ledger on a regular basis in order to edit their data with any new businesses that have entered their details on there. Some firms will print off multiple copies of the Ledger and hand out copies to their sales representatives so that they are able to carry out verification checks each time they attempt to make a sales call. Other firms provide their sales representatives with PC’s so that they can view the ledger online at all times from their workstations.
Support publishing firms know that if they do not monitor The TAPA Opt Out Ledger and subsequently contact businesses that have instructed TAPA as their representatives, our clients will report complaints to our practice concerning any calls they have received. Support publishing firms understand that if enough complaints are reported to TAPA against their firm, an official report will be handed over to Companies Investigation Branch or Trading Standards that may result in their firm being investigated. If TAPA hands over a dossier to CIB or Trading Standards and a firm is investigated as a result, the individual(s) responsible for the management of the firm will have the financial and timely hassle of having to set up new operations, find new trading premises, install new telephone systems and continue to have to pay salary to their staff whilst in transition if they do not wish to lose them.
It is an extremely time consuming and very costly process for firms to undertake and can prove quite exhausting if firms have to keep re-starting their operation again. Support publishing firms do not want the hassle and unnecessary attention that TAPA may cause them when all that is required from these firms is to not contact the businesses that are registered on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger. TAPA cannot record official complaints against support publishing firms from non-clients of our practice and these firms are aware of this. Therefore, providing firms do not contact any businesses that are entered on to The TAPA Opt Out Ledger, no complaints can be recorded against them. Furthermore, support publishing firms are happy to monitor The TAPA Opt Out Ledger because it does their firm a huge favour because they know that contacting clients of TAPA will literally be a waste of their time and resources.
Any invoices for services that they attempt to issue to businesses that are registered with TAPA will not get paid. Support publishing firms do not want to waste their representatives precious time approaching businesses that will not pay any invoices that are issued to them. The TAPA Opt Out Ledger prevents firms from incurring any unnecessary administration and utility costs and is therefore a very useful and valuable tool to these firms. Support publishing firms know that there are millions of businesses in the UK that they can contact to sell their products and services to. They know that TAPA’s Ledger does not contain even as much as one percent of the UK business community on there. Not contacting these businesses is not a burden to firms and most firms realise that they do not need to risk receiving unwanted and unnecessary attention when there are millions of other businesses they can contact.
Clients of TAPA report to our representatives that support publishing firms do adhere to The TAPA Opt Out Ledger because unsolicited advertising sales telephone calls do ultimately stop after they have instructed TAPA, showing the effectiveness of our service. TAPA publishes on our Notice Board, broadcasted on this website, any reports that we have handed over to CIB or Trading Standards regarding firms that we have received large numbers of complaints against. In addition, TAPA publishes in our Press Releases, also broadcasted on this website, details of any support publishing firms that have been wound up in the High Court as a result of government investigations. This helps to ensure that support publishing firms understand that TAPA constantly monitors their trading practices and continuously takes action against the firms that do not edit their tele data against The TAPA Opt Out Ledger. Firms know that TAPA is not a practice that is complacent or lackadaisical.
The service TAPA provides is successful and is guaranteed to work. TAPA does not make any exceptions for any offending firm and is relentless in its actions. TAPA does not just simply enter a businesses details on to The TAPA Opt Out Ledger and forget about them. TAPA makes regular contact with its clients to make sure they are not receiving any unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone calls. TAPA continuously writes to support publishing firms to ensure that they do not contact businesses that are registered on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger, warning them that action will be taken against them if they ignore our requests. Whenever TAPA receives a complaint against a support publishing firm that our practice has not heard of before, TAPA will write to the firm to introduce our practice to them formally, explaining our role and to not contact TAPA clients at any time.
TAPA makes it very clear in this correspondence, the consequences firms will face should they choose to not adhere to our requests. TAPA provides all of its clients with an appointed representative and also provides their personal contact details so that our clients can report any complaints to their representative directly regarding any unsolicited charity advertising sales approaches they may receive. This allows TAPA to then take immediate action and provide our clients with the necessary support they require. TAPA will also subsidises legal assistance for its clients if necessary. Support publishing firms know that if they instigate legal action against a client of TAPA at any time, the client will not have the psychological or financial burden of defending these actions themselves. Firms understand that TAPA’s legal representatives will strenuously defend any actions taken against any businesses registered with our practice.
Any legal action taken against a client of TAPA is viewed as direct legal action taken against our practice itself. TAPA has been involved in various litigation and court proceedings and has never lost a case ever since we began practicing in 2007. Since this time, the response we have received from the support publishing industry has been overwhelming. TAPA did not expect to receive the response and attention our practice and The TAPA Opt Out Ledger has actually received. TAPA rarely receives confrontations from support publishing firms and they have come to accept our role in their market place. TAPA had initial concerns that some of the more unscrupulous firms may have ignored The TAPA Opt Out Ledger, but in fact, the complete opposite has happened.
TAPA can only conclude that this is because rogue traders simply do not want the hassle or want to waste their own time and money pursuing businesses that will not pay their invoices and will continue reporting complaints against their firms. TAPA’s clients are our absolute utmost concern and highest priority. TAPA understands that if we ever find ourselves with unsatisfied clients that broadcast to other members of the general public that our service did not work for them, our reputation could be ruined as a result. As TAPA is a private service, we have no choice but to ensure that we do stop the problems our clients are encountering.
The Telephone Preference Service does not have the same pressure that TAPA has to ensure that businesses that have registered with their organisation stop receiving unsolicited charity advertising sales telephone calls from support publishing firms. The TPS do not rely on their income from businesses that have registered with their organisation. If businesses register with the TPS and unsolicited sales telephone calls continue to be made to them by unscrupulous firms, the TPS will not suffer as a result if consumers cancel their registration with their organisation. If TAPA was to fail in its efforts we would still not be practicing today because by now, all of our clients would have cancelled their instruction with us. TAPA can guarantee from daily experience, once you instruct us, the problem will ultimately disappear.
Is the government taking any other action to tackle the problem with support publishing firms?
The government is doing a lot to try and stop the problem through departments such as Trading Standards and Companies Investigation Branch (CIB). These agencies conduct investigations in to support publishing firms where there is evidence to suggest that they may be trading improperly as a result of large numbers of complaints that have been made against them through organisations such as Trading Standards and Consumer Direct. Many support publishing firms are investigated each year and subsequently wound up in the High Court as a result of these investigations. Unfortunately, this does not eradicate the problem because many operators that have had their firms investigated and shut down simply set up new operations under different aliases and start targeting the same businesses again. There are also new operators always coming in to the support publishing industry that eventually set up their own fraudulent operations that not only replace other firms that have been shut down but increase the total number of firms trading.
Unscrupulous support publishing firms are always modernising their scams, exploiting loopholes in the law that they discover and executing new sales methods in order to deceive money from businesses. It is very difficult for government agencies to eradicate these problems altogether because investigations are very time consuming. Public departments have to construct strong cases in order to bring them before the Courts. The process can take many months to complete and in this time, individuals behind the firms being investigated can set up new operations in other individuals names and transfer their operations over before proceedings even commence in Court. Many fraudsters will abandon their operations and do not care about the consequences of such investigations because their firms were registered under false aliases from when they began trading or operators may have no fixed abode or conventional lifestyle and do not care if their name is blackened as a result.
Proceedings do not usually result in custodial sentences being handed out and therefore unscrupulous operators are not usually overly concerned with the outcome of any such proceedings. They already accept that there is a 99.9% chance that their firm will be wound up in any case once an investigation has been commenced against their firm and many do not even attend court hearings or assist government officers with their investigations. This is one of the main reasons why TAPA began practicing. The founders of TAPA felt that a more effective strategic method needed to be introduced and structured in order to protect businesses from these types of firms that are not concerned about government investigations. It is good news to see bogus firms being wound up but their victims are still left out of pocket and not really any better off. TAPA believes that prevention is always better than a cure and has developed its system to ensure businesses do not get ripped off or harassed by support publishing firms in the first place.
What about the police? Are they taking any action against support publishing firms? Is fraud and harassment not criminal offences?
Fraud and harassment are criminal offences and businesses do approach the police to report these types of complaints to them regarding various support publishing scams. Quite often, the police inform businesses that these types of issues are civil matters or civil disputes between two businesses and not criminal matters that warrant police action. It is very difficult for the police to intervene when businesses may have entered in to proper contractual agreements with firms where alleged bad service has later arisen. If a support publishing firm has not made threats of physical violence or confronted a business owner in person, the police are limited to what criminal offences they can actually pursue these firms with.
Support publishing firms are allowed to contact businesses by telephone to pursue monies they feel are legally entitled to them. If a complainant cannot prove or has not recorded a telephone conversation to evident their claims, the matter is usually a case of ‘the complainants word against the support publishing firms’. If the police do approach firms that have been accused of threatening, fraudulent or improper actions and these firms respond with denials and counter claims through their legal representatives, stating that the complainant is telling lies, the police may be limited to what further action they can take. This can also make matters worse for the complainant and lead to support publishing firms being further infuriated, resulting in their pursuance becoming even stronger.
Sometimes, false or exaggerated information is provided to the police by businesses to spice up their allegations and when found out at a later date to be untrue, can have an adverse affect, discrediting the character of the complainant and preventing any further police intervention. In the event that there is overwhelming evidence of fraud or where Companies Investigation Branch (CIB) or Trading Standards believe serious criminal activity has taken place through their investigations, the police will take action. There have been recent cases where individuals have received custodial sentences as a result of criminal prosecutions that you will find published in our Press Releases section on this website.
How do I instruct TAPA to assist me with support publishing firms and enter my details on to The TAPA Opt Out Ledger? Do I need to speak with a TAPA representative first to discuss my circumstances?
Instructing TAPA is quick and easy. Businesses do not need to speak to a TAPA representative before they can instruct TAPA. TAPA does prefer to have an initial consultation with businesses over the telephone before they instruct our practice to make sure that TAPA is the right service for them and to ascertain their individual needs. However, it is not essential. A consultation can take place after a business has instructed TAPA. Businesses can instruct TAPA online and by fax or post using the various ‘Stop Charity Calls’ links we have provided on this website.
It takes less than a few minutes to submit an application online and applications are processed the very same working day providing they are received before 5pm. Alternatively, new applicants can download the necessary forms TAPA requires in order to submit applications by way of fax or post. The necessary forms can be found by selecting the ‘Stop Charity Calls by Fax / Post’ link in the left hand section of this website. We have also provided a link on this website to guide businesses through the application process, highlighting the various options available to them. The link is entitled ‘How to Instruct TAPA’ and can be found in the left hand section of this website.
How do I cancel the services I am receiving from TAPA? Can I cancel service at any time?
TAPA’s cancellation policy for all of the services we provide can be found by selecting the ‘Cancellation of Service’ link that browsers will find on every page of this website in the left hand section of links. TAPA offers an extension to consumers and businesses statutory cancellation rights on all of the services we provide. This enables all of TAPA’s clients an extended period of time if they are not completely satisfied with the service they are receiving from us to cancel service. If clients inform us they are unhappy with any aspect of our service at any time during this period, TAPA will attempt to try and resolves these issues and work towards a remedy or resolution as quickly as possible as oppose to immediately offering to cancel service.
This is because TAPA strives to provide its clients with an excellent service and wants to stop nuisance marketing approaches being made to consumers and businesses that do not wish to receive these types of approaches. If however, clients do not wish to work towards a remedy or resolution at this stage, TAPA will cancel service at this time. TAPA will also return any payments that the client has made to our practice in good faith as part of our promise. After this cancellation period has expired, TAPA requires clients to commit to the service in accordance with our terms and conditions. This allows TAPA enough time to ensure that the problems they were encountering with telemarketing firms are less likely to return.
If businesses that have instructed TAPA to stop unsolicited advertising sales telephone calls from support publishing firms being made to them were to cancel instruction before the minimum agreement period had passed, it is a very likely possibility that the problems they were experiencing before they instructed TAPA would quickly return. In most cases, TAPA will completely eradicate the problems our business clients were encountering with support publishing firms within 60 days of them instructing our practice. However, in more extreme cases, where businesses details have been heavily circulated throughout the support publishing industry, TAPA cannot always guarantee the complete cessation of the problem this soon.
It would not be advisable for businesses to cancel instruction after only a few months of instructing TAPA because support publishing firms would realise that those business were no longer represented by TAPA and may restart contacting them again with further demands for payment from alleged previous orders or to get them to place new orders with their firms. Support publishing firms may even issue court proceedings against these businesses before they have chance to reinstruct TAPA. If a business decides to cancel their instruction after 12 months of service, by this time, there would be a large source of new businesses being targeted by the support publishing firms that were targeting them before they instructed TAPA. The business would also be recognised as a business that should not be contacted due to it being broadcasted on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger for such a long time and would be deleted from most databases reducing the likelihood of these types of unsolicited approaches returning. However, TAPA cannot guarantee that these problems would not return for these businesses if they cancel their instruction.
Is there any work required from myself before or after I instruct TAPA to assist me with support publishing firms?
The only input TAPA requires from our clients once they have instructed our practice is that they forward to us any correspondence they may receive from support publishing firms and to not contact at any time, support publishing firms that have forwarded documentation to them. TAPA also requires businesses to forward to us any documentation they received before they instructed our practice so that we can also deal with any existing disputes they may already be involved in. TAPA further requests that if a business does receive a sales telephone call from a support publishing firm that they do not enter in to conversation at any time and to terminate the call immediately. TAPA requests that businesses report any calls they receive to us as soon as possible so that we can record an official complaint against the offending firm and provide them with the necessary assistance. However, all of these requirements and other conditions are outlined in an introduction pack that we issue to our new clients. No further action is required from businesses.
Is there a possibility that I will have to pay another bogus invoice once I have instructed TAPA?
TAPA guarantees all of its clients that they will not have to pay another bogus support publishing invoice whilst they are represented by our practice. Businesses will also never have to endure another conversation with a representative of a support publishing firm whilst they are represented by our practice. TAPA also takes over any existing disputes that new clients were previously involved in before they instructed our practice and further guarantees that any demands found to be false will also not have to be paid by our clients. TAPA provides this guarantee in our service agreement for our client’s peace of mind. However, if a business terminates their instruction and removes their details from The TAPA Opt Out Ledger, TAPA cannot provide any further assistance to them or represent them regarding any support publishing issues that may arise afterwards or ensure verbal or written approaches from support publishing firms will not start up again and the same problems return to them.
Can I see any visual evidence that the service has been successful for other businesses that have instructed TAPA?
Yes. If browsers select the link entitled ‘Testimonials’ in the left hand section of this website, they will see what existing clients have had to say about the service they have received from TAPA so far. TAPA does not exaggerate these statements and will provide the contact details of any businesses that have provided TAPA with a testimonial of their experience so that this information can be verified (providing they give their consent). TAPA is happy to provide to any businesses considering instructing TAPA, the contact details of any client featured on The TAPA Opt Out Ledger (providing they give their consent). If businesses require the details of other businesses that have instructed TAPA in their local district, we will be happy to also provide their contact details (providing they give their consent) in order to give potential applicants the peace of mind that the service is successful. Remember, if businesses are not completely satisfied with the service within 14 days of instructing TAPA, they can cancel their instruction at this stage and have any payments they have made to TAPA refunded back to them. This policy gives new clients of TAPA the peace of mind that they are not taking any risks instructing TAPA as their representatives. This policy is included in our service agreement.
Is TAPA a regulator, a charity, working in partnership with the government or working in association with a regulatory body?
TAPA is not a regulator or government department and does not work in association or partnership with a regulatory body or public office. TAPA is a private, profit-making firm and is not a limited company or charity. TAPA does not work in partnership with Trading Standards, Citizens Advice, Consumer Direct, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Office of Communications (Ofcom) or Companies Investigation Branch (CIB). TAPA is an Associate Licensee of the Telephone Preference Service only and is not working in partnership, association or working in any other capacity with the TPS.
Can TAPA help me to recover any money that I believe has been scammed from me in the past by support publishing firms?
Yes. TAPA demonstrates to businesses how they can recover money they have paid to support publishing firms that have not provided them with the service promised or have misrepresented their products and services, refused to refund their money or taken money from their bank account fraudulently. Money can be recovered even if a firm has been shut down or been put in to liquidation by exercising various acts of parliament and banking rules. There is no additional fee required for this service and TAPA provides this information in a unique, comprehensive guide to all businesses that instruct TAPA.