Hello, is it PPI you're claiming for? - The dangers of cold calling

Friday 22nd March 2019

Cold calling. A nuisance, potential breach of the Privacy Electronic Communications Regulations and in certain circumstances, enough to bar you from being a director, as one individual has found to his cost.

Facts

In 2017, the Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) investigated Your Money Rights Ltd and Mis-Sold Products UK Ltd for a possible data protection breach.

Between them, the two companies were responsible for a staggering 220 million automated nuisance calls regarding mis-sold PPI.

Under the Privacy Electronic Communications Regulation, a company or person must not use pre-recorded telephone messages for direct marketing purposes, unless the customer has previously consented to receive such automated marketing calls. This will remain the position under the incoming changes to the law on date protection, following the UK’s exit of the EU.

Findings

Your Money Rights Ltd and Mis-sold products UK Ltd were both fined £350,000 bu the ICO.

As an attempt to avoid paying the fines, Richard Jones, the managing director of both businesses, tried to wind up the companies. The winding application, submitted by Mr Jones to Companies House, was stopped by the ICO.

The ICO has since collaborated with the Insolvency Service, which took the punitive action a step further by barring Mr Jones from being a company director for eight years.

Comments

As the ICO can not only issue a maximum fine of £500,000 for breach of the data protection rules, but also work alongside other organisations which may impose further penalties (as the Insolvency Service did here), it is essential that businesses have a compliant marketing strategy.

If you would like further information or need to consider your business’ regulatory compliance, please get in touch with Andrew Logan.