Financial services call centre warned over text messages

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Company warned after sending out almost 200,000 messages over nine month period

The Information Commissioners Officer has told a Swansea-based financial services company to stop sending spam texts about pension reviews.

Help Direct UK was issued with an enforcement notice after a total of 659 complaints were made to the ICO and the ‘7726’ spam text reporting service.

The ICO says that the company had sent 187,960 text messages over a nine-month period regarding PPI, payday loans, pension reviews and debt management.

It found that the company was in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations which bans marketing companies from sending text messages to people without their prior consent.

“The way in which this company has been operating is completely unacceptable. Not only were members of the public receiving text messages they hadn’t signed up for, but the content was completely misleading,” said ICO enforcement group manager Andy Curry.

“The complicated investigation revealed a web of lies told by the company as to how they obtained personal information and whether they were sending text messages at all.

“This enforcement notice should send out a strong message to all companies who use unsolicited marketing text messages to stop and think about what they are doing. Once the law changes on 6 April it will be much easier for our office to take action against companies sending spam texts and making nuisance calls.”

Last week the ICO raided a call centre in Hove that it suspected of making millions of nuisance phone calls.

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