Two firms in West Yorkshire have been fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for calling people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
Bradford-based Energy Saving Centre Ltd, which offers services such as replacement windows and doors and guttering, made seven million calls over a seven month period without screening them against the TPS register. The ICO has fined the firm £250,000 because at least 34,000 of these calls were made to TPS subscribers.
In a separate case, Alex Goldthorpe, trading as Approved Green Energy Solutions, was fined £150,000 for making over 300,000 calls to TPS subscribers between April and July 2017.
It is against the law to call someone registered with the TPS unless that person has given their consent to receive calls from that company.
Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, said:
“People register with the TPS for a clear reason – to stop unwanted marketing calls and protect their privacy. It is the first thing any responsible business should check when making live marketing calls.
“We are committed to taking strong action against firms calling people registered with the TPS, as these fines show.”
The ICO carried out investigations into the two firms after complaints made by members of the public.
Both firms bought the information used to make the phone calls from other companies and failed to check it against the TPS register to ensure the phone calls they were making complied with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).
Energy Saving Centre has also been issued with an enforcement notice ordering it to stop illegal marketing.
Anyone who wants to report a nuisance call or text can do so on the ICO website.
Notes to Editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office upholds information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
- The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
- The ICO can take action to change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit. The ICO has the power to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) sit alongside the Data Protection Act. They give people specific privacy rights in relation to electronic communications.There are specific rules on:
- marketing calls, emails, texts and faxes;
- cookies (and similar technologies);
- keeping communications services secure; and
- customer privacy as regards traffic and location data, itemised billing, line identification, and directory listings.
We aim to help organisations comply with PECR and promote good practice by offering advice and guidance. We will take enforcement action against organisations that persistently ignore their obligations.
- Civil Monetary Penalties (CMPs) are subject to a right of appeal to the (First-tier Tribunal) General Regulatory Chamber against the imposition of the monetary penalty and/or the amount of the penalty specified in the monetary penalty notice.
- Any monetary penalty is paid into the Treasury’s Consolidated Fund and is not kept by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
- To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.