Regulation Hub Update - February 2021
24 Feb 2021
The ICO has had an absolute frenzy of PECR enforcements of rogue marketers over the past month, with fines levied on 7 firms.
6 of the fines were due to companies’ telemarketing consumers without first screening their calling lists for numbers registered with the TPS.
Rancom Security was fined £110,000 for calling over half a million TPS numbers.
Repair & Assure, which offers domestic appliance repair cover, has been fined £180,000 after calling over a million TPS numbers.
Solar Style has been fined £100,000. As has Chameleon Marketing of Leeds which sold boiler cover through outbound telemarketing, trading under a variety of names such as the Home Heating Centre and www.payasyousaveboilers.co.uk. Not sufficiently Chameleon-like, it seems.
House Guard sells masonry treatment products (whatever they are) and has said it will appeal the ICO’s £150,000 fine for calling TPS numbers. Call Centre Ops, based in Nottingham, which acted as a telephone lead generator also called hundreds of thousands of TPS numbers and has been fined £120,000.
Fishy Sticky Masks
The remaining dodgy marketer is the confusingly named Seafood Importers Ltd - which actually sells ‘fun stickers’ – but has been fined £10,000 for sending unconsented marketing emails in attempt to sell protective face masks.
Full details on all these cases are contained on the ICO website.
New Fee Cap for Claims management Firms (CMCs)
The FCA is proposing capping Claims Management Firms’ fees to 15% to 30% of the pay outs they receive for consumers (NB This plan doesn’t affect PPI claims which are already capped – and should have long since have stopped generating outbound calling after the 2018 ban incorporated in the PECR rules).
Two more challenger energy suppliers failed in January when both Simplicity and Green Network Energy ceased trading. Their total 400,000 customers have been transferred to British Gas Evolve and EDF, respectively.
O2 has been fined £10m by Ofcom for inadvertent – but sloppy – billing errors between 2011 and 2019 which meant that millions of customers were overcharged at the point they ended their contracts. Read more about this, here.
The PSA has barred a director of a scam website ‘Passport Advice & Services’ - which directed callers to the Passport Office via a redirection service billed at £1.50 a minute - from the premium number industry for 5 years.
No contact centre news this month from TPS, the Fundraising Regulator or in the world of payments.
Content accurate as of 15th February 2021