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ICO fines company who promised to make cold calls ‘a thing of the past’

September 23 2015
A company has been fined £75,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office after bombarding consumers, many of them elderly and vulnerable people, with offers to make nuisance calls ‘a thing of the past’.

By paying £130 for their ‘Platinum Service’, Chichester-based Cold Call Elimination Ltd claimed to be able to block 100% of cold calls; however, they themselves were contacting consumers who had registered with the Telephone Preference Service.

“This penalty has been issued to make sure that Cold Call Elimination realise that it is unacceptable to operate in this way.”

Steve Eckersley, ICO’s Head of Enforcement

The ICO had previously warned Cold Call Elimination Ltd in December 2013 after receiving a large number of complaints; however, this was ignored, and the regulator received a total of 336 complaints over a 21-month period up until March. The company was also found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO's head of enforcement, said: “It's clear some of the people contacted by this company were very distressed by the calls and as some of the people were elderly or vulnerable this was an aggravating factor.

“This monetary penalty has been issued to make sure that Cold Call Elimination realise that it is unacceptable to operate in this way.”

The Ethical Marketing Charter was launched with the aim of fighting back against the cold calling that has become such a pressing issue for UK consumers. Signatories to the charter pledge never to cold call, are against the unethical buying and selling of accident data, and stand firmly against misleading and inappropriate advertising.

To find out more about the organisations that have signed up to the Ethical Marketing Charter so far, check out our Signatories page.

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Parliamentary support

“The Ethical Marketing Charter is to be warmly congratulated. It has thrown down the gauntlet to achieve high ethical standards and hopefully other firms are up to the challenge.”

Philip Hollobone MP, Conservative MP for Kettering

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