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ICO issues True Telecom fine of £85,000.00 and an enforcement notice for nuisance calls

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Based in Dartford, True Telecom Limited has been fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for illegally calling people to advertise their services.

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) reported a number of complaints from individuals who received calls from True Telecom despite being signed up to TPS to specifically let organisations know not to contact them for direct marketing purposes. Organisations who call people to advertise their products and services must first receive consent before they do so.

In this case, the people who complained did not consent to receiving calls and were in fact registered to explicitly not be contacted this way. Data protection laws were breached in them being contacted.

During the two year period between April 2015 and April 2017, the ICO reportedly received 201 complaints about True Telecom’s unwanted calls. The people who complained also noted the misleading nature of the calls as the callers “gave the impression they were from BT Openreach” and had withheld the number they were calling from.

It’s illegal for companies, organisations and even other individuals to call people who explicitly don’t want to receive calls for direct marketing purposes.

Callers need to ensure they screen their list of numbers against the TPS register for anyone who doesn’t wish to receive them.

Steve Eckersley, Head of Enforcement at the ICO said:

“The rule around nuisance calls are clear. There’s no excuse for making marketing calls to people who have explicitly asked not to receive them.”

Since the expansion of telecommunications, and the ease and cost effectiveness of calls and emails has increased, businesses can contact prospective customers to advertise their products and services directly. However, not everyone (or rather, hardly anyone) wants to receive calls all the time and be subjected to annoying sales pitches over the phone. Most people keep their contact numbers private and only share it with people they want to keep in contact with. Receiving unwanted calls about PPI claims and internet networks whilst you’re busy at work or resting is utterly frustrating, especially when you’re expecting an important call from someone else.

Eckersley recognises the annoying nature of these unwanted and often illegal calls:

“These calls are at best annoying and at worst downright distressing, and companies who pester the [public] in this way must understand they won’t get away with it. The ICO will take action…”

And it has. True Telecom’s blatant disregard for the law has landed them a fine of £85,000.00 coupled with an enforcement notice ordering it to stop making the unwanted calls. If True Telecom is found to have ignored this notice, it could face court action.

You can register your number with the Telephone Preference Service at this page: http://www.tpsonline.org.uk/tps/number_type.html

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Author on February 19, 2018
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