Lara Mackie, a partner at MSL Partnership, raised the issue after she grew concerned that some leads bought by her firm came from cold calls. When she asked for transcripts of the initial sales calls from the lead generation firm involved her request was denied because of data protection laws.
She says: “How can we prove to the Financial Services Authority that these leads are compliant if we can’t get recordings?”
She suggests that call centres undertaking lifestyle surveys on behalf of lead suppliers ask clients for permission to pass on the data gathered to brokers at the time they purchase leads.
Mackie adds: “I’m sure there are brokers around who don’t really mind where calls originate from as long as they get sales. But I’m not willing to risk my business to pay for leads only to get fined by the FSA for cold calling.”
Nick Chapman, managing director of Leadpoint, which generates leads via the internet, says phone-generated leads are not always of the highest quality.
He adds: “Telemarketing companies should ask for client permission during initial calls in case problems come up later. If con-sumers give their consent there is no reason why transcripts should not be provided.”
Vanessa Blount, head of internet-based paaleads.com, says: “Lead generation is not regulated so the onus is on intermediaries to assess whether leads are compliant or not. Brokers should be able to see the transcripts of calls.”
Paaleads.com announced last week that it will display all the transcripts from its telephone qualifying service on its website.