TELECOMMUNICATIONS business Executel has introduced a system to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) avoid being fined for cold-calling marketing activities.

Executel, of the Team Valley, Gateshead, has launched a telephone preference service to raise awareness about the cost of cold calling, which could lead to fines of up to £5,000.

It is illegal to target residential lines using cold-calling methods if the number is registered on the Telephone Preference Service database.

The service enables homeowners to choose not to receive unsolicited calls at home.

Executel has devised a system that intercepts and stops calls being made to telephone numbers registered on the database, therefore eliminating the risk of being fined.