Reactiv Media, a telemarketing company which uses the strapline “direct marketing with a difference”, has been expelled from the DMA after a raft of complaints about an unrelenting campaign of PPI nuisance calls.
Set up in June 2007 by Tony Abbott (pictured) with just 12 staff, the company now employs 250 people at its HQ and call centre in Elland, West Yorkshire. Its website boasts: “We are one of the largest data owners in the UK, providing the cleanest, freshest, most up to date records available today.”
However, the Direct Marketing Commission (DMC) – the enforcer for the entire DM industry as well as the DMA – received numerous complaints from consumers registered with the Telephone Preference Service about receiving unsolicited calls on PPI mis-selling between April and September 2013.
It was the second time Reactiv Media had been hauled up by the Commission; in April 2012 the DMC ruled that the company 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. In the latest case, the DMC found failures over consumer consent, the requirement for named third-party permissions and identifying themselves when making calls and concluded that DMA rules banning calls to people registered with the TPS had been broken.
Reactiv Media, whose callers presented themselves as representatives of a ‘consumer helpline’, were warned by the DMC of their obligations as a DMA member, but failed to respond to requests to review and change their processes and continued to generate complaints about their activities.
DMC chief commissioner George Kidd said: “This is an unfortunate outcome. 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.”
Reactiv Media has also received a tongue-lashing on consumer site WhoCallsMe.com, with one contributor called “Mole” claiming: “I actually worked for these for about a week and what they do is appalling! Hence why I left. They are ordered when they start to get 15 people to claim for PPI every day using underhand tactics. If you don’t they sack you… The only information they have is your name and telephone number so when they say that they know you have had a loan between 2000 – 2009 that’s a load of bollocks! It’s just a tactic they use to try and convince you as they are bound to stumble on people that have and help themselves to nearly 40% of the money they’re owed.”
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