Last Tuesday, on the CALLCARE blog, we mentioned how The Department of Culture, Media and Support requested the expertise of the customer association in examining the growing issue of nuisance marketing calls and text messaging. However, after following a six-week public consultation, the Government is now removing the existing legal threshold, allowing ICO to intervene in more cases. This change will come into effect from 6th April 2015.
UK Companies Face Up To 30 Cold Calls A Day
On average, companies in the United Kingdom face 30 cold calls per day. Now, these companies could be faced a fine for as much as £500,000 as part of the UK Government clampdown. In return, this will help quicken the Information Commissioner’s Office process of punishing companies for misconduct.
The Government also confirmed they will be looking at introducing measures to hold board-level executives responsible for nuisance calls and text messaging. This follows a report from Which?-led task force last December, which called for a review of the rules in order to act as a stronger restraint to rogue companies.
Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, who chaired the Nuisance Calls Task Force said: “We welcome the Government making good on its promise to change the law so it’s easier to prosecute nuisance callers. These calls are an everyday menace blighting the lives of millions so we want the regulator to send a clear message by using their new powers to full effect without delay.”
“It’s also good news that the Government has listened to our call and is looking into how senior executives can be held to account if their company makes nuisance calls.”
Nuisance Calls Can Cause Substantial Distress
Not only are nuisance calls and text messages are not only annoying, but they can cause substantial distress, especially amongst vulnerable people in our society. The latest data and research shows that:
- Around four out of five people surveyed by consumer group Which? said they are regularly cold-called from home, with a third of them left feeling intimidated.
- There were almost 16,000 complaints related to nuisance calls and texts made to the ICO in November 2014, of which solar panel accounted for 2,377, whilst for PPI was 1,830.
- In total, there were over 175,000 complaints related to nuisance calls and texts made to ICO for 2014.