The Claims Management Regulator has fined a Lancashire-based claims management company £850,000 for making nearly 6 million calls between October 2014 and April 2015 about noise induced hearing loss claims.
The Regulator received almost 2,000 complaints about The National Advice Clinic, which also trades as the Industrial Hearing Clinic or the Central Compensation Office.
This is the fourth and biggest fine issued so far, bringing the total collected to £1.6 million.
Kevin Rousell, head of the Claims Management Regulator, said that the National Advice Clinic’s cold-calling campaign was deliberate and sustained, and a flagrant breach of our marketing requirements.
“They showed an alarming disregard for the misery their tactics can cause, particularly to elderly and vulnerable people,” he said.
“The size of this penalty demonstrates how seriously we take this issue – nuisance calls will not be tolerated.”
The Chief executive of National Accident Helpline, Russell Atkinson, welcomed the fine, saying that the harmful practice of cold calling was still widespread throughout the personal injury sector.
“Tackling these high-pressure marketing tactics will require decisive action from not only government and regulators, but individual businesses themselves; taking responsibility for improving standards and holding themselves to account,” said Atkinson.
National Accident Helpline set up an Ethical Marketing Charter earlier this year to help tackle unethical CMC behaviour.
“More than 50 businesses have signed-up to the Charter since it was launched in July – reinforcing the work of government and regulators and helping to raise industry best practice for the benefit of consumers,” added Atkinson.