Reactiv Media, the telemarketing company which was booted out of the DMA just three months ago, has found itself in more trouble after being clobbered with a £50,000 fine for calling people on the Telephone Preference Service.
Set up in June 2007 by Tony Abbott (pictured) the firm boasts: “We’re one of the largest data owners in the UK, providing the cleanest, freshest, most up to date records available.”
And, in Elland, West Yorkshire, Abbott is viewed as something of a local hero, regularly appearing in the regional press and dishing out business advice.
However, the Information Commissioner’s Office found that between November 2012 and December 2013 the TPS received 481 complaints from individuals who had received unsolicited calls from Reactiv Media despite registering with the TPS. The ICO also received 120 complaints. In May, the company was warned it faced a fine of up to £140,000.
ICO director of operations Simon Entwisle said: “The system is simple. People on the TPS register shouldn’t receive nuisance calls – full stop. Reactiv Media ignored this rule and they must now pay a £50,000 penalty.
“Nuisance calls and texts are a scourge for thousands of individuals and households across the UK. We will continue to target the companies responsible. To help us do this we are currently speaking with the government to get the legal bar lowered allowing us to enforce against more companies and send a stronger message.”
The charge-sheet for the company dates back as far as April 2012, when the Direct Marketing Commission ruled it had breached the Direct Marketing Code of Practice over nuisance calls and emails, although it agreed to change its practices.
But just months later it was in the dock again, following a raft of complaints about unsolicited calls offering PPI compensation between April and September 2013.
Despite a fresh warning from DMC, Reativ failed to respond to requests to review and change their processes and continued to generate complaints about their activities.
Its DMA membership was axed in April. At the time, DMC chief commissioner George Kidd said: “Other telemarketing companies have worked with us and turned past problems around. Those who use companies like Reactiv Media to generate leads share a responsibility. They should not be encouraging firms to bend or break rules that are there to make sure the public’s wishes are respected when it comes to telemarketing.”
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