Unified Communications Featured Article

Powwownow Intros ASCCBO to Ban Anti Social Behavior on Conference Calls

April 13, 2010

Powwownow, a London-based company that provides low-cost conference calling facilities to its customers, has announced that in a recent research, the company found that people are put off using conference calls by other attendees' anti- social behavior. The behavior includes noisy eating, swearing, sniffing, and heavy breathing, and Powwownow found it to be unsuitable on conference calls during a poll of its Premium customers.

The conference calling facilities offered by Powwownow follow the ethos of no booking, no billing and no fuss, as the customers using the services don't need to book a conference room and never receive a bill from the company. Instead, the cost of a 0844 call is added to their bills. The company operates in 15 countries including the US and major European markets, expecting its turnover for 2010 to reach $12.31 million.

During the study, Powwownow also found that the customers who have regular calls with serial offenders have reported that it discourages them from using conference calls to conduct their business, and in order to address the issue the company is announcing the ASCCBO or 'Anti-Social Conference Calling Behavour Order'. The new guidelines include a ban that will run on a 'three strikes and you're out' rule and will encourage users to be more considerate to other people on conference calls.

In order to avail the new guidelines, the users of conference call services offered by Powwownow have to register and reserve their personal PIN numbers at the company Web site. After this, they have to email the participants of the conference call their PIN, the dial-in number and the time when the call has to be made.

According to Oliver Thompson of Oliverthompsontraining.co.uk, which is a regular user of the Powwownow's conference calling service, he finds it really awkward when trying to hold a training seminar, there are people sniffing or even worse eating down the phone. Thompson expressed his pleasure that Powwownow are imposing this ban as a response to recent customer survey results, in order to enhance the conference calling experience of their users.

In the word of Andy Pearce, CEO at Powwownow, conference calls are a great way to have a more relaxed meeting, but the users must adhere to some simple guidelines in order to maintain the whole experience peaceful and pleasant for all of them. Pearce noted that by introducing this ban, Powwownow hopes to make conference calling more pleasant for everyone.

In April 2010, Powwownow launched its free conferencing service in the US. In addition the company also announced a new application for the iPhone that allows road warriors to join a conference call with the single click of a button.

Raja Singh Chaudhary is a contributing editor for unified communications. To read more of Raja's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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