The ICO exists to empower you through information.

  • Company made 47,998 unsolicited calls to individuals on TPS attempting to sell life insurance
  • Spam calls described as “persistent”, “aggressive” and “misleading”, including attempting to capitalise on the pandemic

Wigan-based company Pinnacle Life has been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a year-long unlawful spam phone call campaign.

The company made nearly 48,000 illegal calls between May 2021 and May 2022 to people registered on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to opt-out of marketing calls.

During the spam calls, the company attempted to sell life insurance products. Members of the public told the ICO that company employees would often become insulting or aggressive during these calls and continue to harass victims when they asked not to be contacted further. They would present misleading information, often suggesting they were employed by the same company with which the victims had a life insurance policy.

An investigation by the ICO found evidence to suggest attempts by the company to continue to operate under another name and not comply with orders to cease contacting individuals.

“The ICO is committed to taking action against predatory marketing calls and messages. This company engaged in a campaign of unlawful calls to people who had already taken extra steps to ensure they were not contacted by marketers. People told us the callers were persistent and aggressive, used misleading information and even attempted to use the pandemic to convince people to give over their information.

“As with many of the actions we take on unlawful marketing, this began with one complaint from a consumer who had been contacted by this company whilst being registered with the TPS. This led to our investigation uncovering nearly 48,000 such calls. This demonstrates the value of reporting these types of calls to the ICO. We are pleased to have been able to take this action today and we hope this shows the public how important it is to report spam calls – it makes a real difference.”

- Andy Curry, Head of Investigations at the ICO

Examples of spam calls

One complaint read as follows:

Asked for me by name and incorrect address. Said did I have life insurance [sic]. I said yes but [that] I was not interested and [asked them] to remove me from their marketing list at which point he became abusive and called me stupid. I hung up but the same number called me thirty minutes later, so I ignored it.


Another example of a spam call, taken from call recording obtained from the company to a TPS registered number was made on 8 June 2021:

Complainant: Sorry, I’m not interested. Thank you.
Caller: May I ask why you’re not interested in your policy, sir?
Complainant: Don’t call me again, thank you. Bye.
Caller: No problem, I will call you all the time then.

Further attempts were made to call this individual on 11and 14 June, twice on 16 June and on 23 June 2021.


Another example of a call to a TPS registered number was made on 22 July 2021:

Caller: ...but you have been so rude, you didn’t tell me at least your real name.
Complainant: Remove the number.
Caller: Yes, I’m saying you didn’t tell me Mrs who am I speaking to?
Complainant: I’m not going to tell you my name, because you don’t need my number. Just remove my number now.
Caller: You want me to call you up later?
Complainant: No, I want you to remove my number or else I’m going to report you to the ICO.
Caller: Calm down, I’m just joking… I’m just joking.

The individual stated that they did not consent to receive this call and that it made them feel "annoyed and/or anxious", particularly because of their concern that they continued to hold their number.

Further details of contraventions

  • Between 5 May 2021 and 5 May 2022, Pinnacle Life instigated the use of a public telecommunications service, for the purposes of making a minimum of 47,998 unsolicited direct marketing calls. The calls were made to subscribers registered with the TPS and who had not notified Pinnacle Life that they were willing to receive such calls. The ICO received four complaints.
  • Complainants reported the calls they received from Pinnacle Life or were made on behalf of Pinnacle Life, made them feel annoyed and/or anxious. Some of the recorded calls showed that the callers were aggressive, rude and persistent with the individuals.
  • Complainants reported receiving multiple calls over a short period of time, despite repeated opt-out requests, and this is evidenced in the call recordings

ICO’s work to tackle nuisance communications

The ICO enforces the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR), which cover the rules for organisations wishing to make direct marketing calls, texts or emails.

The ICO has issued more than £2,590,000 million in fines against companies responsible for nuisance calls, texts and emails since April 2023. Some of these investigations began with a single complaint from a member of the public.

For more information about the ICO’s work to tackle nuisance calls, emails and texts visit

Advice for the public

To help you, your friends and relatives stop unlawful marketing calls, texts or emails you can:

  • Register landlines and mobile numbers with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) free of charge. The TPS and CTPS is a register used by legitimate marketing companies to identify people and businesses that have said they don’t want to receive marketing calls. Alternatively, you can tell the company directly that you do not wish to be contacted.
  • Mobile phone users can report the receipt of unsolicited marketing text messages to the Mobile UK's Spam Reporting Service by forwarding the message to 7726.
  • Refer concerns that you or someone you know has been the victim of fraud to Action Fraud (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales) and Police Scotland (in Scotland); wider concerns about a business’ practices can be referred to Trading Standards; any abandoned calls that you receive to Ofcom.
  • Complaints about nuisance calls, texts or emails can be made to the ICO via our website.
Notes to editors
  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals. 
  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018), the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) and a further five acts and regulations.  
  3. The ICO can take action to address and change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit.  
  4. To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to