The ICO imposed more than a million pounds worth of penalties for nuisance calls and text messages in 2015, with the same amount in the pipeline for early 2016.
The fines included:
£295,000 of fines for companies offering call blocking or nuisance call prevention services
£80,000 fine to a PPI claims firm that sent 1.3million text messages
£200,000 fine to a solar panels company that made six million nuisance calls
£130,000 fine to a pharmacy company that was selling customer details to postal marketing companies
Total fines related to nuisance marketing in 2015:
£400,000 fines for nuisance texts (Help Direct UK Ltd; Oxygen Ltd; UKMS Money Solutions Ltd)
£575,000 fines for nuisance calls (Direct Assist Ltd; Point One Marketing Ltd; Cold Call Elimination Ltd; Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd (HELM); Nuisance Call Blocker Ltd; Telecom Protection Service Ltd)
£130,000 fine for selling customer records for marketing (Pharmacy 2U Ltd)
£30,000 fine for sending marketing email (Telegraph Media Group Ltd)
Andy Curry, ICO Enforcement Group Manager, said “Nuisance marketing calls frustrate people. The law is clear around what is allowed, and we’ve been clear that we will fine companies who don’t follow the law. That will continue in 2016. We’ve got 90 ongoing investigations, and a million pounds worth of fines in the pipeline.”
The ICO received around 170,000 concerns in 2015 from people who’ve received nuisance calls and texts, a similar number to the previous year (2014: 175,330). PPI claims prompted the most complaints, followed by accident claims. Areas identified as emerging sectors for nuisance calls and texts included call blocking services, oven cleaning services and industrial hearing injury claims.