Nuisance call-blocking company fined £50,000 for making nuisance calls
A company that claimed to help stop people getting nuisance calls has been fined £50,000 for making large numbers of nuisance calls itself.
Point One Marketing Ltd, which was trading as ‘Stop the Calls’, marketed a call blocking device as well as a service that removes people from a cold call database.
But an investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the independent body that upholds information rights in the UK, found that the company itself marketed its services through aggressive cold calling, prompting hundreds of complaints.
Complainants described pressure sales tactics and salespeople implying they were an official service to stop nuisance calls, while some reported bullying calls and salespeople shouting at them when they asked not to be called again.
One person reported their mother being talked into providing credit card details, despite it being obvious that she suffered with dementia, the ICO said.
The ICO found that the Bournemouth-based business, which was previously known as Conservo Digital Ltd, had breached the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations, which govern marketing calls.
It had called people registered with the Telephone Preference Service, made repeated calls, sometimes several on the same day, and ignored requests by people to stop the calls.
ICO head of enforcement Stephen Eckersley, said: “This company lacked integrity.
“They tried to sell a product that they claimed would stop nuisance calls, knowing full well they were responsible for so many such calls themselves.
“That they operated in what appears to have been such a bullying, aggressive way only makes matters worse.”
The ICO has promise to act swiftly against companies that break the law – and has, he said.
“This fine has been issued because of the people who complained to us about this company.
“But they are by no means the only offender out there.
“If you are receiving nuisance calls, then let us know, and we can act as we have here.”
In June, the ICO raided a business believed to be behind millions of nuisance calls.
ICO staff searched a south Manchester call centre and office thought to contain an automatic dialler suspected of making 100,000 calls a day.
The majority of the calls were about so-called mis-sold pensions or pension reviews, while some covered PPI, debt management and delayed flight compensation.
Cable.co.uk reported earlier this year that more than four in five UK adults with a landline received nuisance calls.
Research by Ofcom found that 86% of participants in a four-week study received at least one nuisance call.
More than half of those taking part (52%) received a recorded sales call – up from 37% in 2014 and 38% in 2013.
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