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A double-glazing company has been fined £50,000 for making nuisance calls to people who had specifically stated they didn’t want to be contacted.
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) received 160 complaints about Brighter Home Solutions Ltd, based in Harlow, Essex, between January and August 2016. The ICO also received a further 27 complaints directly.
People registered with the TPS should not receive unsolicited marketing calls unless they have consented to do so by ‘opting in’ to accept certain communications from specific named companies.
ICO Head of Enforcement Steve Eckersley said:
“It can be annoying enough when people receive unsolicited marketing calls, but even more so when they have already registered with the TPS.
“Organisations have no excuse. The rules are clear and whether they compile marketing call lists themselves or buy them in from a supplier, it is their responsibility to check the TPS register and to make sure they are not breaking the law.”
Brighter Home Solutions said it had purchased lists of numbers from third party suppliers and that these providers had assured them that the data was ‘opted in’. However, the company hadn’t carried out any due diligence checks to ensure that the householders had given their consent to receive such calls.
The company told the ICO it had made around 450,000 calls from January to May 2016 without carrying out due diligence checks.
Some people also complained that the calls were misleading because they gave the impression the company was dialling from a number local to them. Others were also misled into believing that they may have been contacted by Brighter Home Solutions previously and had agreed at that time to receive further calls in the future.
The following are examples of the complaints received by the ICO:
“It has raised concerns that they (have) so much detail about me and where I live etc. Makes me feel concerned about me and my young family.”
“I was concerned that this call would have turned into a scam call as I have been ex-directory for a long time and registered with TPS for a long time also.”
“First, how did they get my information, and second I am now concerned that they may try to visit my house in person.”
“It annoyed me that despite being registered with the TPS, Brighter Homes still cold-called me, and when the conversation wasn’t going to their liking, hung up on me”.
As well as the £50,000 fine, the company has also been served with an enforcement notice ordering it to improve its procedures. Failure to comply could result in court action.
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