Glasgow firm fined £80,000 for 100,000 nuisance cold calls

The firm made more than 109,000 calls to people who had already signed up for a service meant to screen out nuisance calls (file photo)

The firm made more than 109,000 calls to people who had already signed up for a service meant to screen out nuisance calls (file photo)

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Firms which flouted data regulations by phoning more than 100,000 people and sending more than four million texts have been fined by an information rights body.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) took the action against Xternal Property Renovations and PRS Media in separate investigations.

Glasgow-based Xternal Property Renovations was fined £80,000 for making nuisance phone calls.

The ICO found the firm broke the law by making more than 109,000 calls to people registered with the telephone preference service (TPS) who have opted out of receiving marketing calls.

It said the company - which provides property and maintenance repairs services - should have screened the list of people it planned to call against the details of TPS subscribers and ensured its telesales staff knew how to comply with the law.

Members of the public said they received calls from early morning until late at night and were concerned about how the firm got their details.

The company has also been issued with a legal notice compelling it to stop instigating the unlawful calls.

PRS Media, trading as Purus Digital, was fined £140,000 for sending about 4.4 million spam texts.

The ICO found the company - based in Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire - did not have the consent of the people it sent marketing texts to.

The information it used to send text messages had been obtained from its own competition website, where people were required to agree to marketing as a condition of entering competitions on the firm’s website.

The ICO, however, said this did not amount to consent as the law states people must have a genuine choice over whether or not to consent to marketing.

Ken Macdonald, head of ICO regions, said: “Nuisance marketing, whether it’s by calls to people’s landline or mobile, or through spam texts, causes disruption, annoyance and, in the worst cases, serious upset.

“We issue fines like these to firms behind nuisance marketing to send a clear message that such action will not be tolerated.

“The ICO is looking forward to the commencement of our new powers, announced by the government last year, which will allow us to fine the directors of nuisance marketing firms as well as the companies themselves.”

Investigations into the firms’ marketing breaches were prompted by complaints from members of the public.

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