A sales company that has made around 22 million nuisance calls regarding PPI and injury claims has been fined £270,000 by the FCA. This is considered as one of the biggest penalties of its kind ever issued.
As per the investigation conducted by the “Information Commissioner’s Office” (ICO), all the automated calls were traced to Adam Mangan’s company, Road Accident Consult that was operating as Media Tactics, situated in Basingstoke, Hampshire.
The investigation found that Mangan, 49, had issued pre-recorded phone messages in regards to a varying array of subjects, which mainly included personal injury claims, debt management and PPI.
According to The Times, the company that made huge profits of £445,000 over the past 2 years got the victims’ phone numbers from several websites, which included payday loan and insurance brokers, a music streaming service and a prize-draw site.
However, Mr Mangan argued that the firm was given the permission to make calls, simply because privacy notices on other sites mentioned that the information they collected from customers could be passed onto third parties.
An ICO spokesperson explained that, an automated marketing call that plays an already recorded message could only be made to individuals who have consented to receiving such calls. He also said that the company Media Tactics didn’t have the required consent to do so.
As per Steve Eckersley, the head of enforcement at ICO, these 22 million pre-recorded calls would have left a lot of customers feeling annoyed.
Also, some of them found these calls to be very alarming and distressing. The head even mentioned that they heard from one plaintiff who found these calls to be depressing and the other one was too terrified to answer those calls at any cost.
The investigation by ICO was sparked by approximately 183 complaints, which was made to their online reporting tool.
Media Tactics told the enforcement team of ICO that it had taken out the information from other firms and believed the customers on the list had been approved towards being contacted.
The telephone numbers were sourced from a variety of websites, which included discount and prize draw websites, an electronic cigarette seller and payday loans and insurance brokers.
Customers had consented to their information being shared with “third parties whose offers we thought might interest them”.
But ICO found out that the privacy notices on the website was not enough as some included long list of general categories of organisations to which the information would be disclosed. This list included of debt collection, legal services, astrology, general marketing and fashion and leisure.
In addition to the huge fine-one of the highest ICO issued nuisance calls, the firm Media Tactics has even been given a legal notice convincing it to stop making unlawful, nuisance calls and failing to abide by it could result in court action.