Double victory as rogue firms are clobbered for £220k

phone-call-rageThe Information Commissioner’s Office is continuing its fight against companies which flout the law by taking action against two nuisance marketing firms, dishing out fines totalling £220,000.
Separate ICO investigations have resulted in PRS Media, trading as Purus Digital, being fined £140,000 for sending around 4.4 million spam texts and Xternal Property Renovations being fined £80,000 for making nuisance phone calls.
The ICO found Dyfed firm PRS Media, trading as Purus Digital, did not have the consent of the 4.4 million people it sent marketing texts to.
The company, based in Dale in Haverfordwest, said that the information used to send the text messages had been obtained from its own competition website.
People were required to sign up to marketing as a condition of entering competitions on the firm’s website. This is not proper consent, the ICO maintains.
The website’s privacy policy told people their details would be shared with third parties but the law says that is not specific enough.
People must give consent to receive marketing text messages. The law says that people must have a genuine choice over whether or not to consent to marketing.
Meanwhile Glasgow firm Xternal Property Renovations broke the law by making more than 109,000 calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
The ICO found that the company, which provides property and maintenance repairs services, should have screened the list of people it planned to call against the details of TPS subscribers and made sure its telesales staff knew how to comply with the law.
Xternal Property Renovations has also been issued with a legal notice compelling it to stop instigating the unlawful marketing calls.
Head of ICO regions Ken Macdonald said: “Nuisance marketing, whether it’s by calls to people’s landline or mobile, or through spam texts, causes disruption, annoyance and, in the worst cases, serious upset.
“We issue fines like these to firms behind nuisance marketing to send a clear message that such action will not be tolerated.”
He added: “The ICO is looking forward to the commencement of our new powers, announced by the government last year, which will allow us to fine the directors of nuisance marketing firms as well as the companies themselves. This will enable us to take even more of a stand against the firms causing distress and intrusion to people’s lives.”

Related stories
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ICO chief Denham vows to investigate TPS ‘shambles’
MoJ claim reforms will spark ‘nuisance call epidemic’
ICO insists it will claw back fines from rogue firms
Claims firm hit for £250,000 but is already bust
14 out of 20 rogue call firms go under to avoid fine
Reactiv Media placed into liquidation owing £2.4m

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