The director of a company which pressed elderly and vulnerable people to pay for a service which was the equivalent of the free Telephone Preference Service has been banned for six years after swerving a £75,000 fine by liquidating the business.
Leah Masters of Cold Call Elimination, based in Northgate, Chichester, is the second director of a rogue telemarketing firm to be disqualified in as many weeks. Last month, Reactiv Media call centre boss Tony Abbott was disqualified from being a company director for 12 years.
Over a period of nearly two years, Cold Call Eliminations was the subject of 382 complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office and the TPS from people who had already opted out of telemarketing calls.
One complainant said the sales person implied they were calling from the statutory TPS, while another said money was taken from their account despite turning down the service and a bank account had to be cancelled to stop the contract.
The ICO issued a £75,000 fine in September 2015 but the firm failed to pay up and went into liquidation in December 2016.
Insolvency Service chief investigator David Brooks said: “This is a serious case where the actions of the director and the company have caused distress to members of the public in contravention of UK and EC regulations.
“This ban reflects the seriousness of these actions and the robust stance that the Insolvency Service will take against those whose conduct falls below accepted commercial standards.”
As far back as May 2016, the ICO insisted it would do everything in its powers to go after company directors who refused to pay its fines.
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