Ofcom has slapped a £35,000 fine on Carphone Warehouse after it decided that the mobile telecoms company was guilty of making and excessive amount of abandoned or 'silent calls' to home phone users.

The government media and telecoms regulator also issued fines to three other companies: Space Kitchens (£45,000), Bracken Bay Kitchens (£40,000) and Toucan (£32,500).

Ofcom said that all four companies had:

  • Persistently exceeded the 3% limited for abandoned calls, with some higher than 20%.
  • Failed to include recorded messages telling people that they were being called by an automated dialling system.
  • Engaged in other activities that Ofcom considered to be a persistent misuse of published guidelines.

Ofcom said that all four companies were expected to have submitted details in defence of their actions by December 2006 after which time it had considered their evidence and issued the fines.

The maximum fine for misuse of the telephone system is £50,000 per notification.