The ICO has fined a Carmarthenshire based company £350,000 for making a record 146 Million nuisance calls in the UK over a 4 month period.
The automated phone calls were made by the company to promote their services to people in providing assistance with making a PPI claim.
The ICO found that the company behind the calls, Your Money Rights Ltd., did not have the permission of the recipients to use the telephone numbers for marketing purposes which is a requirement for automated calls and committed a further breach as the message did not include details of the company behind the calls or any contact details for the company.
Head of Enforcement at the ICO, Steve Eckersley commented;
We’re cracking down on illegal automated calls on behalf of the British public. They are a blight on society that disregards people’s right to have their wish for peace and quiet in their own home respected.
“We know people find calls playing recorded messages particularly intrusive because they are unable to speak to a call agent. Your Money Rights should have known that the law around automated calls is stricter than for other marketing calls.
The ICO has confirmed that the directors behind Your Money Rights Ltd have started winding up the company but the ICO has stated that it will be working hard to recover the fines working in tandem with the liquidator.
Winding up businesses has been a common practice for businesses hit with such fines in the past and is the driving force behind new legislation making teh directors of such companies legally liable for such breaches of the rules and this individual responsibility will help stop companies avoiding fines simply by placing them in liquidation.
In recent years the practice of making these unsolicited marketing calls has been epidemic and very few of us have escaped this irritation, what perhaps many do not realise is that the company behind the call does need your explicit permission to make the call to you, irrespective of whether you are registered with the TPS and that if you have not given this permission you can and should register a complaint with the ICO which can be done easily with their online reporting tool or by calling 0303 123 1113.