A fine of £30,000 has been handed out to a will-writing firm by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), following almost 100 ‘nuisance call’ complaints from people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
An ICO investigation revealed that the firm in question had made the unsolicited calls using third-party data. The data was acquired from online surveys and competitions, in which participants had specified that they ‘did not wish to receive’ direct marketing calls.
The ICO discovered that TPS subscribers had lodged 99 complaints against the firm. It added that it was “reasonable to suppose that considerably more calls were made to people who did not complain”.
Andy Curry, investigation leader and enforcement manager at ICO, said: “Despite repeated warnings, this company failed to take the basic steps required by law.
“They should have asked for evidence of consent and screened against the TPS list to check whether people had chosen not to receive marketing calls.
“They relied on a separate company to do this which wasn’t good enough. Any company that instigates a marketing campaign is responsible for taking these steps. [The firm] broke the law.”
Under English law, companies are not allowed to make marketing calls to private telephone numbers registered on the TPS.
In recent months, the Government has announced plans to increase fines for so-called ‘nuisance marketing’ firms which regularly breach these laws.
By next spring, ‘nuisance marketing’ businesses and their directors could potentially face fines of up to £500,000, according to reports.