ICO fines Blackburn nuisance call firm £250,000

A claims management company that made 17.5 million calls asking people if they had suffered hearing loss at work has been fined £250,000 by the ICO.

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The nuisance calls were made by Blackburn-based Check Point Claims.

People who picked up the phone heard a recorded message encouraging them to claim compensation for job-related hearing loss.

The ICO launched an investigation after receiving 248 complaints.

Head of enforcement at the ICO, Stephen Eckersley said: “Nuisance calls are bad enough, but picking up the phone to a recorded message can be the most frustrating and intrusive thing of all.

“That’s why the law is so strict – it’s there to protect consumers and in practice it’s very difficult to make a legal automated marketing call. If you get one, report it. If you’re making one, beware. We will take action.”

Companies making calls that play a recorded message can only do so if they have gained specific permission from people to make that type of call. Companies must also identify themselves within the message. Check Point Claims did neither.

The ICO found that Check Point Claims instigated 17,565,690 automated marketing calls between March and September 2015, of which 6,388,122 were connected.

Check Point Claims has now gone into liquidation. While this creates a challenge in recovering the fine, the ICO is committed to making the most of the UK’s insolvency regime to pursue money owed.

Stephen added: “We will do everything within our power to recover fines on behalf of taxpayers and those millions of people who have been hounded by unwanted calls.

“Even companies that have stopped trading or try to get themselves struck off cannot escape because we will use all means available to chase the debt.” From today, as part of a Government crackdown, cold callers will no longer be able to hide or disguise their phone number. And that will make it easier for the ICO to find and take action against companies making nuisance calls.