The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a home improvement company £130,000 for making more than 900,000 nuisance marketing calls.
Colour Coat Ltd of St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex which provides a range of services including coatings, insulation and roof repairs, made the calls over an eight month period.
Following more than 50 complaints from the public, the ICO’s investigation found that a significant proportion of Colour Coat’s marketing calls selling its services, were to numbers that were registered on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) which is for businesses.
Colour Coat were also found to have repeatedly called people who had asked not to be called again and withheld their phone numbers to prevent people from contacting them.
Colour Coat didn’t identify itself on the calls or provided false company names including “Homes Advice Bureau”, “EcoSolve UK” and, on one occasion, “Citizens’ Advice Bureau”.
All of these are against electronic marketing law.
Natasha Longson, ICO Investigations Manager, said
“This company had no regard for the law or for the people they were calling. Businesses employing these tactics are very likely to come to our attention. The catalogue of contraventions we uncovered, as well as the manner in which calls were made in this case, resulted in a fine and a legal notice to stop.”
Some of the complainants described the calls received as “rude”, “aggressive” and “abusive”, and made one complainant feel “threatened”. People reported that the calls made them feel “annoyed” or “anxious”.
The company was also issued with an Enforcement Notice compelling them to stop their illegal marketing activity and that failure to do so could result in court action.
Notes to Editors
- The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) 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 UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), 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.
- 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).