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BBC Call Centre firms fined for PPI nuisance calls

Data watchdog bites
Tue Jun 18 2013, 11:55
A call centre worker

THE CALL CENTRES enjoying celebrity status on the BBC have been fined almost a quarter of a million pounds because they cold call people about payment protection insurance (PPI).

It is possible for people to claim mis-sold PPI themselves, and there is a supply of information online about how to do this.

That has not stopped an aggressive industry from popping up and harassing people at home who might or might not have ever had a loan, nevermind insurance on a loan, in their entire lives.

The UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) takes a dim view of harassment, and it isn't keen on phone calls that are unsolicited.

A statement from the ICO said that it has levied monetary penalties on two of the companies featured on the BBC Call Centre programme and featured by Nev Wilshire's Save Britain Money business, because they did not make enough effort to check whether people are registered with a Do Not Call preference to avoid telemarketing calls under the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Nationwide Energy Services has received a penalty of £125,000 while We Claim You Gain has been fined £100,000, and from the sounds of it we can expect that more fines will follow.

"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," said ICO director of operations Simon Entwisle.

"We'd like to see it made easier for us to issue penalties to companies who are breaking the rules. Similarly, everyone involved seems to agree that the rules on how consumers give their consent to receive calls needs to be clearer."

The companies were found to be responsible for over 2,700 complaints to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and the ICO's own nuisance calls reporting service. µ


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