‘The Call Centre’ companies fined for making nuisance calls
The two companies featured in the BBC3 show The Call Centre have been fined a total of £225,000 for making nuisance telemarketing calls to customers.
The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined Nationwide Energy Services £125,000 and We Claim You Gain £100,000 for making calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) offering to recoup mis-sold payment protection insurance, the first penalty related to PPI.
The two companies, both owned by Save Britain Money, were responsible for 2,700 complaints to opt-out service the TPS or the ICO between 26 May 2011 and end of December 2012, the regulator says.
The ICO adds the firms did not carry out the “adequate checks” legally required to see whether the people they were calling were registered with the TPS, a service run by the Direct Marketing Association under license from Ofcom but enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).
Reality show The Call Centre started earlier this month and features charismatic CEO Nev Wiltshire (pictured) and his staff at work. According to BBC News, the two companies intend to appeal.
It is the first fine issued by the ICO since it and other regulatory bodies were slammed by consumer watchdog Which?, which earlier this month called for stronger enforcement action to cut the volume of nuisance calls. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says it is ”good to see the ICO doing more to punish companies who are breaking the rules”.
ICO director of operations Simon Entwisle says: “The public have told us that they are fed up with the constant bombardment of nuisance calls.
“While the activities of Nev and his call centre employees have provided entertainment for many, they hide a bigger problem within the cold calling industry. People have the legal right not to receive marketing calls and these companies have paid the price for failing to respect people’s wishes.”