Good news for those fed up with nuisance calls. The Government has announced that it will soon change the law to make it easier to prosecute companies making unwanted calls and texts.
Last year tens of thousands of people complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about nuisance calls. But, until now, firms have been able to evade prosecution because victims had to prove ‘substantial harm or distress’.
With the help of 142,000 supporters, we convinced the Government to consult on removing or lowering the threshold for the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to take action against nuisance calling companies.
More rogue firms fined
Today the Government announced that it would make good on its promise to change the law. This legal threshold will be removed on 6 April 2015, giving the ICO the power to intervene in more cases and fine rogue firms up to £500,000. The regulator now needs to send a clear message by using its new powers too full effect without delay.
But, you can play a big part in helping to identify the nuisance calling firms and make sure they’re prosecuted. It’s really important that you report nuisance calls, and we have a tool to make the process of complaining easier. Making a note of the company and, if possible, the phone number that’s calling you, will make it easier for the ICO to investigate and take action.
Senior executives held to account
Last year I chaired a task force on how people consent to marketing as part of the Government’s Action Plan on Nuisance Calls. In December we presented the Government with 15 recommendations to tackle unwanted calls and texts.
These calls are an everyday menace blighting the lives of millions, so the task force advised that senior executives should be held accountable if their companies are making nuisance calls. In another step forwards, the Government today confirmed that it would look into how they would be held to account.
These are big steps in the right direction, but it’s not the end of the line for our campaign. There’s still work to be done to end the scourge of nuisance calls and texts, but we couldn’t have achieved this much without your support.