The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has taken enforcement action against two firms for making nuisance telephone calls - Our Vault Limited in Chorley, Lancashire, and Swansea-based Horizon Windows Limited.
Enforcement Notices have been issued to both companies ordering the firms to stop their illegal marketing activity.
As well as the notice, Our Vault was also fined £70,000 for making 55,534 unsolicited marketing calls to people who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and had not consented to being contacted by the company.
Despite claiming that all their personal data was checked against the register, the investigation found that Our Vault have never held or requested a TPS licence. The calls were designed to sell the financial products of a sister company - ST&R Limited – under the guise of market research.
In a separate ICO investigation, Horizon Windows received the Enforcement Notice for making 104 unsolicited marketing calls to people registered with the TPS between January 2016 and January 2017.
ICO Head of Enforcement, Steve Eckersley, said:
“Both of these firms have shown disrespect for the law and people’s privacy.
“Our Vault Ltd made more than 55,500 direct marketing calls to people who had made clear that they did not want to receive them. This is unacceptable and it is against the law. In one instance, a gentleman was contacted 19 times, despite letting them know he wasn’t interested.
“Horizon Windows Ltd have been ordered to stop their unlawful marketing activities.
“We continue to target the companies and individuals responsible and hold them to account, but we can’t crack down on these organisations without the public’s help. I’d urge anyone who has been targeted by nuisance calls, emails or texts, to report them to the ICO.”
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 2018, the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
- The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) 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.
- The ICO has the power under PECR to impose a monetary penalty on a data controller of up to £500,000.
- 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, visit ico.org.uk/concerns.