£160,000 fine handed to boiler replacement company by the UK Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for making thousands of nuisance calls subscribers of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)

The UK Information  Commissioners Office (ICO) have issued a £160,000 fine to Making it Easy Ltd for making spam calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Making It Easy Ltd were also handed an enforcement notice by the ICO, ordering them to stop their illegal marketing activity.

The Clydebank-based boiler replacement firm made more than one million marketing calls between May 2018 and December 2018, with 853,769 of those calls being made to people registered with the TPS, so 80% of their marketing calls were unlawful.

It is against the law to make marketing calls to numbers that are registered on the TPS for more than 28 days, unless people have provided consent.

Nearly 200 complaints were made about the company, with most people saying that, despite being able to see the number of the caller, they could not identify the firm to be able to report their concerns. Some of the comments the ICO recorded included:

”I cannot find any company details for this number. They claim to be National Heating Advisory Service.”

”The call themselves the Heating Advice Centre and all speak with Scottish accent despite the number displayed being a Swansea STD code.”

The company names provided by the complainants were not listed as a trading name of Making it Easy Ltd, but the ICO traced the identified phone numbers back to the firm.

Making it Easy Ltd told the ICO it purchased the data used to make the calls from a third party but that it did not have a contract.  The company also did not screen the numbers against the TPS register nor could provide evidence of consent being given.

Steve Eckersley, ICO’s Director of Investigations, said:

“Making it Easy Ltd made a substantial number of marketing calls to people who had made clear that they did not want to receive them. They also deliberately gave vague and misleading information to people they called, and failed to take basic steps to ensure it had valid consent to make these calls. This is unacceptable, it is against the law and we will continue to hold firms to account and issue fines if necessary.”

Companies that carry out electronic marketing and want to make sure they are complying with the law, should subscribe to the TPS for a fee to get the register of subscribers to screen against their own call lists. Further advice is available on the ICO website.

If you’re not sure what your obligations are when it comes to processing personal data for the purposes of marketing, or you need any other support, we’re here for you. Go to www.tdwico.comfor details of our support.