The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined two firms in Stockport for disrupting the public with nuisance marketing.
IAG Nationwide Limited has been fined £100,000 for making more than 69,000 calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
Recipients described the calls as “frightening”, “threatening” and “aggressive”. IAG also failed to correctly identify itself in the calls, did not give people the chance to opt-out of receiving them and provided misleading information about the nature of the call.
On top of the fine, the company has been issued with an enforcement notice by the ICO, ordering it to stop illegal marketing.
In a separate ICO investigation, Bramhall-based Costelloe and Kelly Limited has been issued with a £19,000 fine for sending more than 260,000 spam texts promoting funeral plans.
Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, said:
“Both these firms showed disregard for both the law and people’s right to privacy when they embarked on their unlawful marketing campaigns.
“We heard about the harassing nature of the calls made by IAG Nationwide, whilst Costelloe and Kelly ploughed ahead with their spam texts despite the fact the content was about funeral plans – a sensitive area which could cause upset to recipients.
“Reports from the public about these firms helped our investigations, leading to action to hold those responsible to account. I’d urge others targeted by nuisance calls, emails or texts, to report them to the ICO.”
Nuisance calls and spam texts and emails can be reported via the ICO’s website. Mobile phone users can also report spam texts to the free GSMA Spam Reporting Service by forwarding the message to 7726.
The ICO has published detailed guidance 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.