‘Abusive’ home improvement business nailed by ICO

abandond call 2The Information Commissioner’s Office is continuing its relentless pursuit of companies which breach the PECR legislation, with a Sussex home improvement company the latest firm to be fined £130,000 for making more than 900,000 unlawful marketing calls.

Colour Coat of St Leonards on Sea, which provides a range of services including coatings, insulation and roof repairs, made the calls over an eight month period.

Following more than 50 complaints from the public, an ICO’s investigation found that a significant proportion of Colour Coat’s marketing calls selling its services, were to numbers that were registered on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) which is for businesses.

Colour Coat was also found to have repeatedly called people who had asked not to be called again and withheld their phone numbers to prevent people from contacting them.

Contact centre staff working for Colour Coat did not identify themselves on the calls or provided false company names including Homes Advice Bureau, EcoSolve UK and, on one occasion, Citizens’ Advice Bureau.

Some of the complainants described the calls received as “rude”, “aggressive” and “abusive”, and made one complainant feel “threatened”. People reported that the calls made them feel “annoyed” or “anxious”. However, the company’s website boasts: “Our reputation speaks for itself.”

ICO investigations manager Natasha Longson said: “This company had no regard for the law or for the people they were calling. Businesses employing these tactics are very likely to come to our attention. The catalogue of contraventions we uncovered, as well as the manner in which calls were made in this case, resulted in a fine and a legal notice to stop.”

The company was also issued with an Enforcement Notice compelling them to stop its illegal marketing activity; failure to do so could result in court action the ICO warned.

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