A Hove telecoms company which sold call blocking software has been fined £170,000 for making hundreds of thousands of cold calls in an attempt to flog it.
Yes Consumer Solutions Limited, based at Intergen House in Western Road, made 188,493 calls to people who had signed up with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to say they didn’t want any unsolicited sales calls.
Its salespeople tried to sell their cold-call blocking service for £1.50 a week – sometimes making multiple calls to the same number, and claiming they couldn’t be reported.
However, 13 people complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which investigated and this week fined the company.
Some of the complaints received included:
“This company called my 87 year old father attempting him to sell him a package which blocks calls, ironic I know. He is registered with TPS.”
“They wanted me to pay £1.50 per week to stop nuisance calls, I told them I was registered on TPS, they said they would ring back.”
“They’ve called five to six times, twice today. We’ve said that we weren’t interested and not to call but they still do. When my wife said we’d report them they claimed they couldn’t be reported.”
The ICO found the company, run by Paul Elliott, was able to check its database against the TPS, but had failed to do so.
Contacting people who have been registered with the TPS for longer than 28 days is against electronic marketing laws, known as Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
Andy Curry, ICO head of investigations, said: “People who register with the TPS do not expect to then receive nuisance calls, particularly not ones selling nuisance call blockers.
“Yes Consumer Solutions Limited should have known that they needed to check their marketing lists against the TPS. They had the means to do so. That is basic good practice.
“We hope this fine shows the importance of reporting nuisance calls, texts and emails to us. Every complaint matters, and we will continue take action to stop nuisance marketers.”
Members of the public who believe they have been the victim of nuisance texts, calls or emails, should report them to the ICO, get in touch via live chat or call our helpline on 0303 123 1113.
Five years ago a Brighton company called Prodial was fined £350,000 for making 46 million automated nuisance calls.