How a Company Selling Nuisance-Call Blocking Services was Fined £40,000 for Making Nuisance Calls
Nuisance calls are something which all companies should avoid at all costs. It doesn’t only hurt the people receiving them, but it hurts the telecommunications industry and its public perception. People never want to receive cold calls, but there have been cases of parents waiting for medical updates regarding their children, elderly people being awoken in fear in the night, and many, many more instances that are worse than just a mildly annoying disturbance as you’re doing your weekly shop. Still, even when only minor damage is caused, there is still inconvenience and upset which is always going to put companies’ relationships with their customers in jeopardy.
Yet many businesses continue to make nuisance calls, despite knowing the unpleasantness they cause, despite warnings and denunciations from the public and watchdogs alike, despite even the huge fines which they can receive for calling TPS registered customers – companies have been fined hundreds of thousands of pounds, and yet it keeps happening.
Ironically, even a company which was trying to gain from this negativity and annoyance regarding cold calling made the bizarre, misguided decision to place cold calls itself. IT Protect was a company based in West Sussex which was trying to sell people unwanted calls blockers for a charge of 45 pence per week.
Yet in trying to market these blockers, IT Protect was found to be cold calling numbers which were registered with TPS. The TPS is the Telephone Preference Service, which people can register their number onto in order to legally prevent marketers from placing unsolicited calls to them. If a call is placed to this number, which the number’s owner has not specifically asked for, firms put themselves at risk of receiving heavy fines.
So why did a company which must have fully understood the laws of nuisance calls, as well as how despised they are by their recipients, flout these regulations? They claim it is because they purchased the data from another firm, rather than having gathered it themselves from interested parties. After having bought the names and numbers of these people, they failed to carry out the necessary checks before going ahead with placing cold calls. As there are plenty of services out there which can check your data to ensure you are not placing calls to any TPS registered phone numbers, this really is an inexcusable mistake. It’s also an expensive one, as this company ended up being fined £40,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
All we can hope is that cases like this deter not only the company in question, but others from repeating these costly and irritating mistakes. Everybody in the telecommunications industry has a responsibility to its clients, potential customers, and to the industry itself. We should be striving to improve the industry’s reputation and relationship with the public, and to ensure we have their trust. That way, we can build positive bonds with people and find greater success in marketing strategies, feedback collection, and generally improved communication. Otherwise, everybody loses.