On 18th August 2017, the Information Commissioners’ Office (ICO) gave a £50, 000 penalty to Home Logic UK Ltd for making marketing calls to people who had made it clear they didn’t want to be contacted in that way.
Following this, the ICO have issued a reminder that properly screening numbers against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) register is much cheaper than a fine for making nuisance calls. The TPS allows people to register their number and opt out of receiving marketing calls and the ICO has had statutory responsibility for the TPS since December 2016.
Between April 1 2015 and July 31 2016, the TPS received 133 complaints from members of the public about nuisance calls made to their TPS-registered numbers by Southampton-based Home Logic. A further three were made by callers passing themselves off as the firm.
Home Logic said it licensed the numbers it used to make marketing calls from third-party providers. It then uploaded that data to an electronic dialer system, which screened the numbers against the TPS register.
However, that system was unavailable for 90 days out of 220 between April 2015 and March 2016, due to technical issues. On those days, Home Logic continued to make unsolicited marketing calls without any alternative screening against the TPS register.
ICO Head of Enforcement Steve Eckersley said:
‘We continue to see companies suffering the financial and reputational consequences of being caught making nuisance calls, which could have been prevented if they had invested in a TPSlicenceand made proper use of it. It is baffling that some firms continue to take this business risk.
Organisationshave no excuse – they know that calling people on the TPS register is against the law and that we will come down hard on them if they don’t respect the public’s right to privacy.’
Firms engaged in direct marketing can subscribe to the register for 12 months for a cost of £2,640, or less for limited geographical areas or for time-specific periods.
If you require assistance with data regulation compliance and need advice on how to avoid suffering financial and reputational consequences , please do not hesitate to contact Andrew Swan – Head of Regulation and Financial Crime or Sheila Ramshaw - Specialist in Regulation & Financial Crime on 0191 232 0283.