Information Commissioner's Office
ICO issues fines totalling £170,000 to cold call blocking companies
The ICO is taking action against two more cold call blocking companies, continuing the crackdown on nuisance calls.
Poole-based Nuisance Call Blocker Ltd has been fined £90,000 and Telecom Protection Service Ltd, based in Bournemouth, has received an £80,000 fine. Both companies were found to be making unsolicited marketing calls to people registered on the official Telephone Preference Service while trying to sell products and services to block the type of cold calls they were making.
Over 1,000 complaints were received about the two companies. People who received calls from Telecom Protection Service Ltd said callers were rude and aggressive, appeared to be preying on the elderly and vulnerable, with some even put under pressure to provide their bank details.
Complainants stated that Nuisance Call Blocker Ltd had given the impression that the calls were part of a government backed initiative while Telecom Protection Service Ltd’s name seemed designed for it to be confused with the official Telephone Preference Service opt out scheme.
ICO’s Head of Enforcement, Stephen Eckersley said:
“These calls have a real impact on people’s lives and that’s why we do what we do. “Complainants told us that callers tried to obtain money by deception and the calls were misleading and a scam.
“This action should send out a clear message to other businesses that we will act to stop this behaviour.”
Alongside the fines, the ICO has also issued Nuisance Call Blocker Ltd and Telecom Protection Service Ltd with enforcement notices ordering them to stop making the calls. Breaching an enforcement notice is a criminal offence.
The ICO is working closely with Trading Standards to identify concerns in relation to companies that supply cold call blocking services and products.
Detailed guidance is available on the ICO’s website for companies carrying out marketing explaining their legal requirements under the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations. The guidance covers the circumstances in which organisations are able to carry out marketing over the phone, by text, by email, by post or by fax.
If you need more information, please contact the ICO press office on
0303 123 9070 or visit the website at: www.ico.org.uk.
Notes to Editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
- The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
- The ICO is on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Read more in the ICO blog and e-newsletter.Our Press Office page provides more information for journalists.
- Anyone who processes personal information must comply with eight principles of the Data Protection Act, which make sure that personal information is:
- Fairly and lawfully processed
- Processed for limited purposes
- Adequate, relevant and not excessive
- Accurate and up to date
- Not kept for longer than is necessary
- Processed in line with your rights
- Not transferred to other countries without adequate protection
- Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) are subject to a right of appeal to the (First-tier Tribunal) General Regulatory Chamber against the imposition of the monetary penalty and/or the amount of the penalty specified in the monetary penalty notice.
- Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
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