A £50,000 fine has been handed out to digital marketing company Reactiv Media for making unsolicited marketing calls to people who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued the fine after more than 480 complaints to the TPS and 120 reports to the ICO were made between November 2012 and December 2013.
If you’re concerned about unsolicited marketing calls, read our guide on how to stop nuisance calls.
Nuisance calls and text messages
The TPS is a register which records your preference not to receive unwanted nuisance calls and it’s free to use.
Organisations are not allowed to make live sales or marketing calls to people who have signed up to the TPS register, unless they have given their prior consent.
According to research published by Ofcom, signing up to the TPS reduces the number of unsolicited marketing or sales calls received by consumers by a third.
Spam texts are also a common issue. According to the ICO, the most common topic of spam texts is payday loans, followed by accident claims, PPI compensation claims and debt management.
If you’re getting bombarded by unwanted texts, read our guide to stopping spam texts.
New measures for nuisance calls
The ICO would like to take enforcement action against more companies and has set out a programme of reform which would lower the threshold for action against rogue companies.
Currently, a call or text message doesn’t meet the legal threshold required to bring a prosecution unless victims have suffered ‘substantial’ damage.
The ICO would like this threshold to be lowered so the requirement would only need to show that the calls or texts were causing annoyance or nuisance.
Read our guide to find out how to report a nuisance call to the ICO.