ICO sees fall in consumer complaints about sales calls | DMA

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ICO sees fall in consumer complaints about sales calls

Consumer concerns about sales calls reported to the ICO have fallen to their lowest level since October 2012. In December 2013 the ICO only received 4,996 complaints about sales calls. There has been approximately an 84% reduction in the number of monthly complaints since March 2013 when the figure was 31,663.

The ICO believe that this is a strong indication that the high public interest and concerted action by regulators, consumer and industry groups is making an impact. (The figures appear in the latest quarterly enforcement report issued by the ICO at the end of January.)

Payment protection insurance reclaim, accident claims and energy/green energy are the top three subjects complained about relating to sales calls and the ICO is continuing to monitor a number of companies.

Spam texts
The ICO has issued a monetary penalty notice of £175,000 against a payday loans company, First Financial (UK) Limited for the mass sending of unsolicited SMS messages to consumers which generated 4,031 complaints to the ICO. The same company and the Company Secretary were also prosecuted for failing to notify with the ICO. The ICO also agreed an undertaking with the political campaign group Better Together in favour of keeping Scotland part of the UK about compliance when SMS marketing. It lost the appeal at the First Tier Tribunal in the Tetrus case, but plans to appeal this decision.

The number of complaints about cookies is very low - the ICO only received 53 in the period between September and December 2013. The ICO continues to focus its activities on the 200 most visited websites in the UK and, in the period September to December 2013, referred one frequently visited website to its enforcement team.

James Milligan, Solicitor, DMA

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