Nuisance call war claims fresh scalp

worried woman on phoneA Welsh marketing firm has become the latest miscreant to be slapped with an enforcement notice to stop making nuisance calls, as the regulator changes strategy in the fight against rogue telemarketers.
An investigation into Camarthen-based Winchester & Deakin – which also trades as Rapid Legal and Scarlet Reclaim – discovered the firm had made unsolicited marketing calls to people who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service or who had asked not to be contacted.
The ICO had received 144 concerns about the PPI claims specialist since January 2013, while online forums are packed with negative comments about the business.
Set up in June 2012 by debt management specialist Philip Barstow (who has since left the business), according to Companies House there is a so-called “proposal to strike off” Winchester & Deakin. However, it is not known whether this has been initiated by the firm’s sole director – named as Richard Hughes – or Companies House for non-filling of annual returns.
The firm is the second marketing business to be issued with an enforcement notice recently, with Glasgow-based DC Marketing also hit. Enforcement notices are the final warning before the start of criminal proceedings and are increasingly being used by the ICO after its powers to fine rogue companies were severely impeded by last year’s High Court ruling.
The ICO has repeatedly urged the Government to rush through new laws which would slash the threshold on nuisance calls, in a move supported by the DMA.
Anne Jones, assistant commissioner for Wales, said: “If people have asked you not to call them, don’t call them. If people are registered with the TPS so they don’t receive unsolicited marketing calls, don’t call them. It’s not complicated. Nuisance calls are annoying, bad business practice and, above all, against the law.
“Winchester & Deakin must follow the rules like everybody else. If they don’t it will be treated as a criminal offence.”

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