By Lauren Howells

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a claims handling company which made 75 million nuisance automated calls in the space of only 4 months.

Miss-sold Products UK fined £350,000

Miss-sold Products UK Ltd was fined £350,000 after it was brought to the ICO’s attention following 146 complaints from the public regarding its automated marketing calls. Complaints included those from people who said they were not able to opt out of the calls and those who had been called a number of times.

Calls had become “an intrusive and unwelcome interruption”

 One person spoke about how the calls, which they received from the company almost daily, had become an “intrusive and unwelcome interruption”, while another was anxious that, as they were a carer, the evening calls they received may be connected to the person they cared for.

Company was breaking the law

The ICO said that the company was breaking the law, as it did not have the recipients’ consent for making marketing calls, which contained recorded messages primarily promoting PPI compensation claims.

Mis-sold Products had also broken the law by failing to identify which company was making the calls and using ‘added value’ numbers, which cost money when people called the company back after having missed a call.

Director of Miss-sold applied to strike it off the Companies House Register

Miss-sold Products UK fined for 75million nuisance calls in 4 months

According to the ICO, the director of Miss-sold had applied to strike the company off the Companies House Register, but the ICO had “blocked the move pending enforcement action”. The ICO said that this was

“to allow all options to be considered for recovery of the penalty, and for the actions of the director in running the company to be fully scrutinised”. 

The ICO hopes “the Government will bring forward plans to introduce personal liability for directors as a matter of urgency”

ICO Enforcement Group Manager Andy Curry said:

“This company blatantly ignored the laws on telephone marketing, making a huge volume of intrusive calls over a short period of time and without any apparent attempt to ensure they had the consent of the people they were harassing. 

“The ICO will come down hard on rogue operators who want to treat the law and the UK public with contempt. We hope the Government will bring forward plans to introduce personal liability for directors as a matter of urgency, to stop them from escaping punishment after profiting from nuisance calls and texts.

“In the absence of a change in the law, the ICO will continue to face challenges in the recovery of penalties, and rogue directors will think they can get away with causing a nuisance to members of the public.” 

Earlier this month, a study of Ofcom data revealed that consumers were bombarded with a total of 2.2 billion nuisance calls and texts in 2017 relating to an injury-related claim, pension, PPI or other insurance-related matters.