An Overview

Uniquely in the outbound industry, Sytel has a history of compliance that actually predates government regulation in countries such as the UK and the US. 

In the days before regulation we took a decision to make our dialer compliant with the voluntary codes of practice set out by national marketing organizations such as the Direct Marketing Association in the US. And as regulation has been introduced we have immediately implemented specific country rules.

Changes to Ofcom's Policy Statement (December 2016) provided general guidelines which have caused confusion.  Click here to see Sytel's list of points that will enable call centers avoid any charges of persistent misuse by Ofcom. 

As a user or partner, this means that when you take delivery of product from us you can be assured that the compliance rules are hard-coded for your country such that when supervisors run our product, they are obliged to be compliant. Choosing to be non-compliant, as is the case with most other dialers, is simply not an option.

If there are no specific rules in place in a particular locale, then we still enforce compliance, taking as our standard the rules developed by national direct marketing organizations in a number of countries.

And this means that no matter where our dialer is deployed in the world, we deliver effective performance at very low levels of nuisance calls.

Partners and prospects who want to learn more should consult our business partner pages or email us at

Sytel hasn't just led the dialer industry in its compliance stance, but has campaigned for many years for the cause of responsible dialing, acting in the process as adviser to a number of national marketing organizations and governments. For a quick overview of some of the highlights on the road to responsible dialing, starting with the most recent, and the role Sytel has played in this, see below.

Feb 2016 re: Sytel response to Ofcom consultation on proposals to make changes to its 'persistent misuse' policy.

(PDF, 174KB)

Sytel comments on 2 issues included with the consultation;
i) is there a case for Abandoned Calls?
ii) answer machine detection (AMD) and silent calls

Nov 2014 re: OFCOM Sytel Response to Ofcom Consultation Questions

(PDF, 76KB)

The response from Sytel to Consultation Questions contained in Ofcom's document "Review of how we use our persistent misuse powers (Focus on silent and abandoned calls.)"

Apr 2009 re: OFCOM Sytel UK Compliance Statement

(PDF, 114KB)

Statement issued by Sytel in response to OFCOM's revision of their misuse policy, reflecting many of our earlier recommendations.

Sep 2008 re: OFCOM Revised Statement of Policy on Misuse

(PDF, 433KB)

The official text, revised Sep 2008, from the UK regulator, OFCOM, on rules for predictive dialers.

Feb 2008 re: OFCOM Sytel Response to Ofcom Consultation

(PDF, 78KB)

The response from Sytel to a call for consultation from the UK regulator, Ofcom, on the revision of its rules for predictive dialers.

Mar 2006 re: OFCOM Statement of Policy on Misuse

(PDF, 180KB)

The official text from the UK regulator, OFCOM, on rules for predictive dialers.

Feb 2004 re: FCC The Elimination of Silent Calls

(PDF, 91KB)

A paper by Sytel calling for vigilance to combat the negative impact of nuisance calls.

Jul 2003 re: FCC The Revised Telephone Consumer Protection Act 1991

(PDF, 697KB)

The official text of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rulemaking, including both rules for predictive dialers and the setting up of the Federal Do Not Call List (DNC).

Feb 2003 re: FTC Meeting the Legislative Challenge to Predictive Dialing

(PDF, 26KB)

A Sytel article, published in DM News, offering advice on how to meet the challenge of the FTC ruling.

Jan 2003 re: FTC Are You Ready to Meet the Legislative Challenge to Predictive Dialing?

(PDF, 11KB)

A short article outlining how Softdial Plugin® meets the FTC challenge.

Dec 2002 re: FTC The Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR)

(PDF, 5856KB)

The official text of the amended TSR, as regulated by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Jul 2002 re: CPUC Sytel Meets the Californian Predictive Dialing Challenge

(PDF, 27KB)

Press release announcing compliance with the draft legislation from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

Aug 2001 re: US DMA 'Outbound's Steamy Situation'

(PDF, 57KB)

An article, published in Customer Interface magazine in the US, explaining how outbound has got itself into difficulties through irresponsible use of technology, and giving an appraisal of the likely impact of the US DMA codes of practice.

Aug 2001 re: US DMA 'New Codes of Practice to Pull Outbound Into Line'

(PDF, 82KB)

A version of Sytel Paper 13, above, published in Customer Interface Europe magazine.

May 1999 re: US DMA Press Release on DMA Compliance

(PDF, 26KB)

Announcing the implementation of the US DMA guidelines within Softdial Plugin®

Apr 1999 re: US DMA 'New Guidelines for Predictive Dialer Use'

(PDF, 62KB)

An article, published in Call Center Solutions magazine in the US, reviewing the DMA guidelines.

Jan 1999 re: US DMA 'Predictive Dialling - a Shockwave for the US'

(PDF, 74KB)

A review of the US DMA guidelines published in Call Centre Management magazine in Europe.

Jan 1999 re: US DMA revised Feb 2003 The US DMA Guidelines

(PDF, 551KB)

The official text of the US DMA 'Guidelines for Ethical Business Practice' (including Use of Predictive Auto Dialing Equipment - Article #45).

Jul 1997 revised Oct 2000 'Predictive Dialing - Rules That Matter'

(PDF, 21KB)

A ground-breaking article expressing our concern about the lack of any national guidelines for predictive dialers, especially in the US.

Compliance Guidelines for Predictive Dialing in the UK

12 points to follow >>

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In July 2011, Sytel CEO Michael McKinlay won the Contact Center World 2011 UK Industry Champion Award, for his work on outbound regulation and compliance over the previous 15 years.