How the screening process works
During the screening process you will be asked to identify what columns in your data contain the telephone number(s) and which ones contain fax numbers that you want screened.
Once you’ve done this, we will scan through your data and analyse each of the ﬁelds you’ve identiﬁed as containing a telephone or fax number and temporarily strip out all the non-numerical data such as letters, brackets, dashes, full stops, spaces and so on.
|01251 811223 (££)
|01214 456789 – call Tue
|0132654 54455 (call after 6)
|0121 456 7899 / 01234 4567899
Note the addition of the date the numbers first appeared on the register (where it’s available).
The last two examples are invalid because they contain additional numbers that, after filtering, the system thinks form part of the telephone number resulting in invalid telephone numbers. Don’t worry, we don’t charge to screen invalid telephone numbers.
To the human eye this is simple enough and we’re working on new algorithms to make our system even more flexible, but for now that’s how it works.
Our screening process has now been improved to go even further to help you improve your data by incorporating the OFCOM table of valid Telephone Prefix codes.
We will now screen beyond simply analysing telephone numbers for cells that contain valid numerical characters and checking their correct length, but we will now additionally check the first 5 digits of your numbers for a valid OFCOM Telephone Prefix code.
|01399 987654 (££)
|01214 456789 – call Tue
Although the number 01399987654 contains 11 digits and looks like a valid telephone number, the first five digits (01399) does not exist as a valid telephone number range with OFCOM, so the number is marked as INVALID.
Remember, we don’t charge you for numbers we identify as invalid.
1. Uploading your data
We will store your uploaded lists online for up to 60 days from the date of upload or the last time you checked your data. Whichever gives you the greatest storage time.
You can upload your data in a number of ways. You can upload a list containing a single column of telephone or fax numbers, multiple columns of telephone or fax numbers or whole databases containing one or more columns of telephone and fax numbers together with any additional information that you need to run your campaigns.
You can upload your files in either text (.TXT or .CSV) or Microsoft Excel (.XLS or .XLSX) formats.
2. Screen your data
The actual screening process is very quick. Whether you upload 100 numbers or 1,000,000 numbers, you can expect your data to be ready within minutes.
While we screen your data we don’t actually change it in any way, because we take copies. This allows us to hold your data intact so you can download it whenever you want.
The screening process will run your data against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS), Fax Preference Service (FPS) registers and/or your own Do Not Call (DNC) lists as you choose.
When you screen your data you currently have two options:
Select whether you want us to blank out the numbers that match against your chosen list(s) (TPS,CTPS,FPS,DNC); or
Whether you prefer for us to insert a column next to each telephone number field and tag your records as ‘OK’,‘DNC’,‘TPS’ or ‘CTPS’,‘FPS’ or ‘INVALID’.
3. Download your data
You can download your data in one of three ways:
- Original format, not screened; or
- Screened and with all the TPS, CTPS, FPS and DNC numbers removed (useful for dialler data or for printing manual call sheets); or
- Screened and tagged. This means each number is identified as on the TPS, CTPS, FPS, DNC, OK to call, INVALID or EMPTY if no number is present
We’re currently working on a custom export feature that will allow you to download your results in a format more convenient to your needs. This is expected to be ready in early 2016.