The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has levied a £100,000 fine at a marketing company in East Sussex for making 75,649 nuisance calls—many about road traffic accident claims.
AMS Marketing of Peacehaven made the calls to people who had opted out of receiving marketing calls by registering with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
The ICO investigation found no evidence that AMS Marketing had sought specific consent from those it called before it did so, which is against the law.
The nuisance calls were made between 1 October 2016 and 31 December 2017. A total of 103 complaints were made to the ICO and TPS.
Many of the complaints highlighted AMS Marketing’s business of making unsolicited approaches to alleged victims of road traffic accidents. One complaint said: “They knew my name and address and claimed that I was legally owed circa £1,800 for a non-fault traffic accident.”
Another complained: “Saying we had an accident and they can help with compensation. They asked for my daughter who has not been driving long, so I found it very stressful and disturbing.”
An ICO spokesperson said of the £100,000 fine: “Firms that buy in lists of data are duty-bound to check whether people are registered with the TPS.”
“Firms that fail to make the proper checks, do so at their peril. The ICO can and will take action.”
John Mitchison, director of policy and compliance at the DMA, which works closely with the ICO and runs the TPS on its behalf, said of the news: “The level of disregard and volume of calls made by AMS Marketing in breach of the TPS rules is quite astonishing. The ICO’s continued work to prosecute these types of rogue business that are clearly not serving any benefit to consumers is important.”
“We applaud the ICO team’s work and hope that today’s announcement will act as a deterrent to both this business and any others considering using tactics like this in the future.”
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations give the ICO the power to impose a civil monetary penalty of up to £500,000 for breaches such as those AMS Marketing was found to have made.
The Financial Guidance and Claims Bill received royal assent in May. It banned claims management companies from making cold calls unless they had the consent of the recipient.