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The Hearing Clinic fined £200,000 after hundreds of cold call complaints

Wednesday, August 5th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A claims management company has been fined £200,000 for making nuisance phone calls.

The Claims Management Regulator took action against The Hearing Clinic after getting hundreds of complaints from members of the public who had received calls about claims for noise induced hearing loss.

Many complainants had signed up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) so they wouldn't receive such calls.

The fine is the first to be issued by the Claims Management Regulator since the government changed the law in December 2014, giving the regulator the power to fine companies that breach its code of conduct.

Firms can be fined up to 20% of their annual turnover and have their trading licence suspended or removed.

New figures show that 296 claims companies were given warnings by the regulator in 2014-15, and 105 had their licences removed.

Claims Management Regulator Kevin Rousell said: “The new fines mean we have greater powers to crack down on claims management companies that make nuisance calls.

“Companies should be in no doubt that if they break the rules then we won’t hesitate to fine them in addition to the tough action we already take.”

'Unscrupulous'

As well as having to pay a fine, The Hearing Clinic will have to adhere to new restrictions around calling numbers registered with the TPS.

Justice minister Lord Faulks QC added: “The government has taken action to help people who are having their time wasted by the unscrupulous practices of some claims firms out to make themselves a profit at others’ expense.

“The new fines we introduced mean that companies who break the rules will pay the price.”

The National Accident Helpline has been running a Stop Nuisance Calls campaign and has helped set up the Ethical Marketing Charter, an initiative designed to stamp out unethical marketing practices from claims management companies and law firms within the personal injury sector.

National Accident Helpline’s CEO Russell Atkinson said: “National Accident Helpline welcomes the news that the Claims Management Regulator has issued its first fine for persistent nuisance marketing.

“Cold calls are at best annoying, and at worst damaging, often targeting the most vulnerable in society.”

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