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The nuisance calls ‘menace’ from Scotland / DM Design fined £90,000 over cold-calling

by on March 20, 2013 in Lead story, News you can use, PR, Retail, Scotland, Small Business, Startups

Call Centre worker

Cold calling people subscribed to the Telephone Preference Service is not allowed without consent. A Scottish firm has been fined £90,000 for “blighting” the public with thousands of unwanted marketing calls.
DM Design, based in Cumbernauld, drew almost 2,000 complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Telephone Preference Service.

The fitted kitchen company consistently failed to check if individuals had opted out of receiving marketing calls.

The fine was the first issued in the UK but the ICO said other firms faced complaints and more fines would follow.

DM Design was found to have responded to just a handful of the complaints it received.

In one instance, an employee refused to remove a complainant’s details from the company’s system and threatened to “continue to call at more inconvenient times like Sunday lunchtime”.

‘Clear message’

The ICO said it had informed two more companies that it was intending to impose significant penalties over breaches of the law, with a final decision likely in the coming weeks.

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This small fine is far from the sort of deterrent needed to call time on the use of nuisance calls and texts”

Richard Lloyd Which?

A further 10 companies are subject to ongoing investigation for cold-calling and sending spam text messages.

Information commissioner Christopher Graham said: “Today’s action sends out a clear message to the marketing industry that this menace will not be tolerated.

“This company showed a clear disregard for the law and a lamentable attitude toward the people whose day they were disturbing. This is not good enough.

“This fine will not be an isolated penalty. We know other companies are showing a similar disregard for the law and we’ve every intention of taking further enforcement action against companies that continue to bombard people with unlawful marketing texts and calls.

“All of this work has been made possible thanks to the information we are receiving from the public, which has assisted our investigation team in identifying the companies making these calls.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “We’re pleased to see the Information Commissioner taking more action, but this small fine is far from the sort of deterrent needed to call time on the use of nuisance calls and texts.

“With seven in 10 people receiving an unsolicited call in the last three months, it’s clear that the current approach to enforcement isn’t working and much tougher action is needed. That’s why our new campaign calls on all of the relevant regulators to set up a joint taskforce to properly police and punish those responsible for nuisance calls and texts.


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1 CommentAdd yours

  • dennis - March 20, 2013

    About bloody time, too!

    Why oh why do companies persist in calling TPS-listed numbers when, apart from the simple lack of respect for the recipient’s very clear wishes not to be called and the ease with which they can be flagged and excluded, they are also unlikely to be responsive – it’s just a lose-lose situation!

    In the example above, just how many kitchens did the dumb-ass salesman think he was going to sell to the person whom he was going to “continue to call at more inconvenient times like Sunday lunchtime” – what kind of commission package was he on? Just plain rude, stupid and ignorant, not to mention continually damaging the direct marketing industry’s reputation.

    Yet if they’d simply excluded TPS-listed numbers, they wouldn’t have upset people, wouldn’t have wasted their own time, would have got a better response and wouldn’t have been fined £90k!

    I feel better now, thank you 🙂

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