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Biggest Ever PPI Nuisance Call Offender Fined £350K

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a Welsh marketing company £350,000 after an investigation revealed it was behind a record 146 million illegal automated calls to the British public.

Carmarthenshire-based Your Money Rights was responsible for the PPI blitz, made over four months, but its directors are already scrabbling to dissolve the company, presumably in an attempt to avoid the hefty fine.

The ICO, better known for enforcing data protection laws, is also responsible for policing the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), which protects consumers’ rights regarding marketing calls and similar.

The firm, which has a registered address in Darlington, did not seek prior consent from those it targeted with the automated calls and so was in breach of the law, the ICO said.

"We’re cracking down on illegal automated calls on behalf of the British public. They are a blight on society that disregards people’s right to have their wish for peace and quiet in their own home respected,” said ICO head of enforcement, Steve Eckersley.

"We know people find calls playing recorded messages particularly intrusive because they are unable to speak to a call agent. Your Money Rights should have known that the law around automated calls is stricter than for other marketing calls."

Although the watchdog said it’s committed to working with insolvency practitioners to recover the fine, Eckersley admitted that a change in the law which will make directors personally liable for illegal marketing calls “can’t come soon enough.”

“If a firm goes out of business to try and duck an ICO fine then they’re no longer making troublesome nuisance calls,” he added. “But the new law will increase the tools we have to go after them and hold them fully accountable for the harassment, annoyance and disruption they’ve caused."

Keurboom Communications was fined £400,000 back in May after making nearly 100 million nuisance PPI calls over an 18-month period. Its director, Gregory Rudd, put the firm into voluntary liquidation, complicating efforts to recover the money.

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