ICO fines nuisance call company £80,000

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Company was reported a total of 801 times by consumers receiving nuisance phone calls

The Information Commissioners Office has fined a personal injury claims company £80,000 for making unsolicited calls.

Bolton-based Direct Assist was reported 801 times by members of the public with one household reporting it had received 470 phone calls from the company.

Another person was told they’d be called everyday for three years unless they made a claim.

Direct Assist was offering access to solicitors for personal injury claims but every person who had raised a concern was registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), exempting them from unsolicited calls.

However, an ICO investigation discovered that senior management instructed staff to deliberately use numbers that were on the TPS list. It also had no policies or procedures in place to ensure that staff complied with privacy regulations.

When confronted with the allegations Direct Assist claimed it was a different company using their name to make the calls.

“Direct Assist’s behaviour shows a blatant disregard for the law and the customers they tried to contact,” said ICO head of enforcement Steve Eckersley.

“Even though the TPS contacted them 525 times to warn them about complaints being made they continued to market their services through unsolicited phone calls.

“This penalty sends a clear message that this type of irresponsible marketing is totally unacceptable. Companies need to think about their responsibilities, the law and the consequences if they try to break it.”

Since the judgement was awarded, the company has entered liquidation. The ICO will attempt to obtain the fine by registering as an unsecured creditor.

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