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ICO clamps down on 'menacing' cold callers

Slaps Scottish firm with a £90,000 fine
Wed Mar 20 2013, 13:09

THE INFORMATION COMMISSIONER (ICO) is finally tackling cold callers, and has slapped a Scottish firm with a £90,000 fine.

Glasgow based furniture store DM Design is the first company in the UK to be handed a fine for cold calling after it was hit with 2,000 complaints from users sick of receiving nuisance phone calls.

According to the ICO the company "consistently failed to check whether individuals had opted out of receiving marketing calls - in clear breach of the law - and responded to just a handful of the complaints received".

One employee at DM Design was found to have refused to remove a customer's details from the company's records, instead telling them that it would instead call at "more inconvenient times like Sunday lunchtime".

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said, "Today's action sends out a clear message to the marketing industry that this menace will not be tolerated. This company showed a clear disregard for the law and a lamentable attitude toward the people whose day they were disturbing. This is not good enough."

Graham added that although this is the first fine of its kind, it won't be the last.

"This fine will not be an isolated penalty. We know other companies are showing a similar disregard for the law and we've every intention of taking further enforcement action against companies that continue to bombard people with unlawful marketing texts and calls.

"All of this work has been made possible thanks to the information we are receiving from the public, which has assisted our investigation team in identifying the companies making these calls."

While this is the first fine the ICO has levied for cold calling, it did go after a company that insisted on sending spam text messages last November, hitting the firm with a £40,000 penalty. µ


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