The ICO has fined Manchester-based energy firm Tameside Energy Services £45,000 for nuisance calling people registered with the TPS. Are you still bombarded with nuisance calls despite signing up to the TPS?
The fine falls just two weeks after the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) hit two companies featured in BBC Three’s The Call Centre with a whopping £225,000 fine.
It’s also the regulator’s third fine since we called for action with the launch of our campaign Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts.
Fines for the rule breakers
The latest company to be fined, Tameside, was responsible for more than 1,000 complaints between May 2011 and January 2013. According to the ICO, Tameside ‘failed to carry out adequate checks’ and didn’t remove people from their contact lists.
Commenting on the fine, ICO’s director of operations Simon Entwisle said: ‘This is not the first, and will not be the last, monetary penalty issued by the ICO for unwanted marketing calls.’
We’re pleased that the ICO is taking action against companies bombarding people with nuisance calls. With more than eight in 10 of us receiving unwanted calls, we want a tougher new approach from the government, regulators and industry with new laws and new technology to stop you from being plagued by this menace.
How effective is the TPS?
The ICO also issued Tameside with an enforcement notice, requiring the company to stop calling people who are TPS registered or have previously told the company they don’t want to be contacted.
In one case an 80-year-old lady had told Tameside on 20 separate occasions that they must stop calling her. This is a problem that many of you empathise with, such as Rob:
‘Like many other people who receive these phone calls (just about everyone with a phone?), I registered with TPS several years ago. I have to say that TPS is about effective as a chocolate fireguard.’
Commenter A Wright was similarly affected, and now relies on his answer phone:
‘I work from home and despite having telephone preference we were getting between two and six of these calls most days. After a particularly frustrating day, I decided to put my answer phone to better use. I changed my message. It now says “Hello, we have telephone preference so if you’re cold calling please make a note of that. However, if you are a friend, please leave a message after the tone.”‘
Although evidence suggests that registering with the TPS will cut down on nuisance calls, it’s clearly not doing a good enough job when companies are just ignoring the list of registered phone numbers. The 75,000 who have so far pledged support for our campaign are evidence of that.