BBC TV Call Centre boss Nev Wilshire has found himself in the dock once again after admitting that he forgot to register his latest venture – the subject of a new TV series in India – with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Wilshire pleaded guilty on behalf of his company, Money Saving Champions. Notification with the ICO is a legal requirement for organisations processing personal data under the Data Protection Act.
Wilshire told the magistrates that the company was established to tie in with his current TV series Nev’s Indian Call Centre and was not being marketed or promoted.
He said the company’s website had only received eight “hits” with four coming from his own marketing department for testing purposes and the other four from the ICO’s office.
Although the fine – £350.00 and £497.75 in prosecution costs – was minimal, the case is yet another blot on the controversial call centre owner’s record. Last year, a company owned by Wilshire was fined £500,000 after being found guilty of a single breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act, which led to a pensioner’s death.
Meanwhile in June 2013, two of his firms – Nationwide Energy Services and We Claim You Gain – were fined a total of £225,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for making nuisance marketing calls.
Some in the industry have questioned the BBC’s decision to give Wilshire a new TV programme in the first place, given his past misdemeanors. One insider said: “How does someone who was fined £500,000 for killing an old lady and fined £225,000 from the ICO get his own programme setting up a call centre in India? Has the world gone madder than it already is. It looks to me like crime pays.”
Wilshire told the court: “I was asked to set up a call centre in India, but it takes six months to open a company or bank account in India. We bought the company, domain name and website months before the programme ever aired.
“Money Saving Champions in India would have had a licence to trade in India. This is an administration oversight on our part and for that I am sorry.”
Anne Jones, ICO assistant commissioner for Wales, said: “Companies that handle people’s personal information but don’t register with us when they are required to do so are breaking the law.”
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