‘Threatening’ telemarketing firm hit with £80,000 fine

call oldieA Wigan-based company which made nearly 48,000 illegal calls in a 12 month period to people registered on the Telephone Preference Service has become the latest to feel the force of the Information Commissioner’s Office crackdown on rogue telemarketers.

Pinnacle Life used the spam calls in an attempt to sell life insurance products but, when consumers declined, operatives would often become insulting or aggressive and continue to harass victims when they asked not to be contacted further.

They would also present misleading information, often suggesting they were employed by the same company with which the victims had a life insurance policy.

One complainant said that when they said they were not interested and asked to be removed from the marketing list, the caller became abusive and called him stupid. They added: “I hung up but the same number called me 30 minutes later.” Another detailed how when they had asked the company not to call them again, the caller responded: “No problem, I will call you all the time then.”

The ICO investigation found evidence to suggest the company had attempted to continue to operate under another name and not comply with orders to cease contacting individuals. The regulator has now issued an £80,000 fine under the Privacy & Electronic Communications Regulations.

ICO head of investigations Andy Curry said: “The ICO is committed to taking action against predatory marketing calls and messages. This company engaged in a campaign of unlawful calls to people who had already taken extra steps to ensure they were not contacted by marketers.

“People told us the callers were persistent and aggressive, used misleading information and even attempted to use the pandemic to convince people to give over their information.

“As with many of the actions we take on unlawful marketing, this began with one complaint from a consumer who had been contacted by this company whilst being registered with the TPS. This led to our investigation uncovering nearly 48,000 such calls.

“This demonstrates the value of reporting these types of calls to the ICO. We are pleased to have been able to take this action today and we hope this shows the public how important it is to report spam calls – it makes a real difference.”

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