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Menacing marketeers fined by ICO for 1.9M cold calls

The UK data watchdog has penalized five businesses it says collectively made 1.9 million cold calls to members of the public, illegally, as those people had opted out of being menaced at home by marketeers.

Anyone registered with the Telephone Preference Service in the UK should not receive calls from organizations, unless they’ve expressly given consent. The US equivalent is National Do Not Call Registry, and residents of Australia can use the Do Not Call Register.

The Information Commissioner’s Office says it has issued a total fine of £590,000 ($726,000) to the five business that it found using pressured sales tactics to flog insurance for white goods and other household appliances.

The companies include SGS Home Protect, fined £70,000 ($86,200) for making more than 24,000 illegal calls; Cover Appliance Ltd, fined £200,000 ($246,000) for 511,499 calls; F12 Management, which copped a £200,000 ($246,280) fine for 1.34 million calls; HouseHold Appliance 247, which must pay £55,000 ($67,730) for 19,069 calls; and RHAP, which made 15,288 calls and is nursing a financial penalty of £65,000 ($80,000).

“Registering with the TPS makes it illegal for companies to call you without your consent,” said Andy Curry, head of investigations at the ICO. “We’d encourage anyone who wants to block unsolicited marketing calls, to either a landline or mobile phone, to sign up to this free service.”

Since October 2021, the ICO has fined 16 companies a total of £1.45 million for dialing the phone numbers of TPS members, breaking the Privacy and Electronic.Regulations legislation.

“We’ve heard harrowing stories of people being hounded with these nuisance calls, and feeling forced into handing over bank details fr unwanted and necessary insurance. We’re working to protect people who are being deliberately targeted because they’re seen as was pickings by unscrupulous cold callers,” said Curry of its work in the past 23 months.

In June, the ICO fined two sleazy sales operations, Crown Glazing and Maxen Power Supply. The majority of the illegal calls the companies made to TPS registered people were to sell double glazing and a free energy test. And in April teh regulator fined a recruitment business, Join The Tribe Ltd, £130,000 ($160,000) after it was found to have sent 107 million spam emails. ®