Nuisance sales calls can be a major irritation and a plague on privacy – but the law is not powerless to bring those responsible to book. In one case, a rogue telemarketing company has been fined £75,000 by the First-tier Tribunal (FTT).
The company, which sold insurance and carried out consumer surveys on behalf of its clients, had ignored rules which forbid unsolicited sales calls being made to those who have registered with the Telephone Preference Service.
In less than a year, the Information Commissioner (IC) had received 481 complaints about the company’s activities. There were two examples of repeated calls being made on the same day to disabled people and one call was received on the work mobile phone of a 999 centre operator.
The IC imposed a £50,000 financial penalty, prompting an appeal by the company. However, the FTT ruled that, far from being excessive, the penalty was too lenient. The company had exhibited a culture of denial and had sought to minimise the seriousness of its breaches. In the light of its multi-million-pound turnover and robust financial health, the FTT increased the penalty to £75,000.