The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a Nottingham-based marketing company £120,000 after it was found to have made 159,461 unsolicited direct marketing calls relating to life insurance. The calls continued over a five-month period between May and October 2019 and were all made to consumers who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service and should therefore not have received any marketing calls.
The principal legislation relating to the TPS is Regulation 21 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. If a consumer has signed up with the TPS, then the firm can only make unsolicited calls for the purposes of direct marketing if the recipient has explicitly informed the firm that they do not object to marketing calls being made.
The fine will be reduced to £96,000 if the firm does not exercise its right of appeal and if payment is made by March 11.
A consumer who complained about the firm said:
“Claimed not to be a sales call but wanted to sell life insurance. Told firmly I was on TPS and they had no right to contact me, to which they answered it didn’t apply as it wasn’t a sales call. Obviously told them quite firmly what I thought of them”
Andy Curry, ICO Head of Investigations, said:
“If you sign up to the TPS, you should not expect to get nuisance calls. It’s as simple as that. Companies that have no respect for their customers’ wishes and choose to flout the law, can expect to face consequences – for their reputation and to their bottom line.
“By complaining via the TPS and the ICO, the public help us hold these companies to account. We encourage people to sign up to the free TPS service and report any unwanted calls they receive to the ICO.”
Scott Robert are compliance consultants delivering solutions to regulated businesses.