Nuisance calls firms slapped with large finesWatchdog cracks down on nuisance call industry

25 November 2015

Nuisance call

Three companies are being slapped with big fines by the data protection watchdog this week for making persistent nuisance calls. 

The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has singled out the three companies for fines totaling more than a quarter of a million pounds. 

The ICO will also contact more than one thousand data sales firms this week. 

The data companies are thought to play a role in the compilation and trading of people's names and numbers that are then used by cold callers. 

The ICO is eager to ensure that all the companies are acting legally. If you're plagued by nuisance calls, you can help put an end to them by using our free reporting tool. 

More than 20,000 complaints have been made to the ICO or Ofcom since June 2015 using our nuisance call reporting tool.

ICO taking action against one thousand firms

The ICO said it will write letters to the firms this week, which it believes play some role in trading and compiling people's names and numbers to be used by cold callers.

The ICO will demand firms set out how they comply with data protection law including what data they share, how they get people's consent and a list of all the companies they’ve worked with in the last six months.

If companies do not respond to the letters, the ICO has said it will take further action to ensure the information is provided to them.

Spam PPI texts fine

In the first of three financial penalties to be imposed by the ICO this week, UKMS Money Solutions Limited (UKMS) - a PPI claims company that sent more than 1.3 million spam texts - has been fined £80,000.

It used mobile phone numbers it had bought from list brokers to encourage people to make a claim for PPI compensation.

A total of 1,442 people complained to the ICO as well as the 7726 spam text reporting service during UKMS's nine-week direct marketing campaign between April and June 2015.

ICO enforcement manager Andy Curry said the firm's actions were ‘simply not good enough’.

He added: ‘UKMS relied on their data suppliers' word that the people on the lists had agreed to be contacted.

‘UKMS should have known that the responsibility to ensure they had the right consent to send messages to people rests with them.’

Further nuisance call fines imminent

With the ICO collecting more than a quarter of a million pounds in fines this week, the total number of fines issued over the last four months for nuisance marketing will be reach £1 million.

Nuisance calls generate around 180,000 complaints a year, complaints which have enabled the ICO to execute search warrants, bring offenders before the courts and issue fines.

More on this...