Companies which fail to check their data against the Telephone Preference Service have been warned to expect “robust” action on the back of two new fines issued by the Information Commissioner’s Office which have seen the total penalties for TPS abuse top £1m so far this year.
Home security firm ACT Response of Middlesbrough was found to be behind 496,455 live marketing calls to TPS subscribers and has been fined £140,000. There were 128 complaints made about the company between January 2017 and February 2018.
The ICO investigation found that the script used by the company for making the calls even asked people whether they were registered with the TPS. One complainant said: “Didn’t get any other details but this number calls all the time, several times a day and seven days a week and it’s driving me mad.”
Another firm, Secure Home Systems of Bilston, West Midlands, has been fined £80,000 for making calls to 84,347 numbers registered with the TPS between September and December 2017, using call lists bought from third parties without screening them. People made 268 complaints about the company over a two-year period.
The two companies join the 2018 TPS abuse hall of shame which includes Oaklands Assist UK, fined £150,000 last month, Energy Saving Centre £250,000, IAG Nationwide £100,000, Approved Green Energy Solutions £150,000, Our Vault £70,000 and AMS Marketing £100,000.
ICO group enforcement manager Andy Curry said: “These fines should set alarm bells ringing and deter marketing companies across all sectors that are contacting people without their consent. It is a company’s responsibility to make sure that it has valid consent to make these calls.
“The TPS is there for a reason – to protect people’s privacy and ensure that marketing companies obey the law. Marketing companies failing to take the basic step of checking TPS can expect robust enforcement.”
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