A company that claimed to run a service that stopped people receiving nuisance calls has been fined, after the regulator found it was responsible for large numbers of nuisance calls itself.
Bournemouth-based Point One Marketing Ltd (previously Conservo Digital Ltd) trade as ‘Stop the Calls’, marketed a call blocking device for phones, as well as a service that removes people from a cold call database.
But an ICO investigation found the company marketed its services through aggressive cold calling, and fined the company £50,000.
The company had prompted hundreds of complaints, reporting pressure sales tactics and salespeople implying they were operating an official service to stop nuisance calls. Some complainants reported bullying calls and salespeople shouting at them when they asked not to be called again. One reported their mother being talked into providing credit card details, despite it being obvious she suffered with dementia.
The ICO found the company had breached the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations, which govern marketing calls. It had called people registered with the Telephone Preference Service, made repeated calls, sometimes several on the same day, and ignored requests by people to stop the calls.
ICO Head of Enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said:
“This company lacked integrity. They tried to sell a product that they claimed would stop nuisance calls, knowing full well they were responsible for so many such calls themselves. They operated in what appears to have been such a bullying, aggressive way only makes matters worse.
“We promised to act swiftly against the companies that break the law and we have. This fine has been issued because of the people who complained to us about this company. But they are by no means the only offender out there. If you are receiving nuisance calls, then let us know, and we can act as we have here.”
People can report nuisance calls at the ICO website.