(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Thur, 11 May, 2017) London, Uk – –
More than 1,000 people complained to ICO over automated calls about road accident claims and PPI compensation
A company that made almost 100m nuisance calls in 18 months has been fined a record £400,000 by the data watchdog.
The information commissioner’s office said the automated calls by Keurboom Communications had caused “upset and distress” and led to more than 1,000 complaints.
Keurboom, registered in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, has been placed in voluntary liquidation and the ICO intends to recover the fine through liquidators and insolvency practitioners.
The ICO was unable to fine the company’s director, Gregory Rudd, but the government is set to introduce a law allowing the watchdog to fine the bosses of nuisance call firms.
The calls from Keurboom related to schemes including road traffic accident claims and PPI compensation. Some people received repeat calls, sometimes on the same day, and calls during unsociable hours. The company hid its identity, making it harder for people to complain.
Companies can make automated marketing calls to people only if they have their specific consent. Keurboom did not have consent.
Steve Eckerlsey, head of enforcement at the ICO, said: “Keurboom showed scant regard for the rules, causing upset and distress to people unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of one its 100 million calls.
“The unprecedented scale of its campaign and Keurboom’s failure to cooperate with our investigation has resulted in the largest fine issued by the information commissioner for nuisance calls.”
He added: “These calls have now stopped – as has Keurboom – but our work has not. We’ll continue to track down companies that blight people’s lives with nuisance calls, texts and emails.”
During the investigation, the ICO issued seven information notices ordering the company to provide information. When it failed to comply, Keurboom and Rudd were prosecuted and fined £1,500 and £1,000 respectively at Luton magistrates court in April 2016.
In 2016/17 the ICO fined 23 companies a total of £1.9m for nuisance marketing.
The previous record nuisance call fine was in February 2016 when the ICO fined Prodial, a lead generation company, £350,000 for making 46m nuisance calls.
In September 2016 the ICO fined TalkTalk £400,000 under the Data Protection Act for failing to prevent an attack on its systems.
By Jamie Grierson