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Regulation Hub Update - November 2020


This article is written by Steve Sullivan who is the Deputy Chair of the Contact Centre Council.

(Non-Compliant) Covid Marketers Beware

After last month’s £60,000 fine of anti-Covid hand sanitiser sellers, Digital Growth Experts, the ICO has now fined a seller of face masks, Studios MG (SMG) £40,000 for breaking the PECR Regulations. SMG sent a relatively modest estimated 8,000 to 9,000 marketing emails without consent. Unhelpfully, SMG explained that the prospect data had come from “a different campaign related to tennis” and “via things like LinkedIn connections, events, people that emailed me, etc.”.

BA, Marriott and the Great Fines Disappearance

The ICO’s massive ‘GDPR era’ proposed fines of BA and Marriott for their respective data breaches, announced early last summer have finally been finalised. And they’re a lot lower than the ones the ICO originally suggested.

So, it pays to have good lawyers, it seems.

Less of a Pain in the SARs

The ICO's latest guidance has clarified that when processing a Subject Access Request (SAR) organisations can 'stop the clock' on the one month target turnaround time while waiting to hear back from the requestor with clarifications. Good news for all those contact centre teams resentfully left to process SARs.

At the same time, the ICO's clarified the - rather narrow - meanings of "manifestly excessive" and "manifestly unfounded", both of which are potentially bases for denying a Subject Access Request.

Renewed Covid Support for Consumers

As England and Wales experience their (respective) second lockdowns and Scotland goes through something similar but more complicated, the FCA has extended the support it requires firms to offer consumers experiencing Covid-related difficulties.

No energy supplier business failures, this month, but Utilita has been ordered to pay £500,000 in redress and compensation after revealing it had inadvertently overcharged 40,000 pre-payment customers a total of £125,000.

In a similar manner to the FCA, Ofwat has issued guidance to water suppliers to display forbearance to domestic and business customers experiencing Covid-related distress.

The Fundraising Regulator’s 4th annual Complaints Report shows a slight increase in complaints made by the public to the Regulator, after a partial Covid lull. Again, the top cause for complaints was (surprisingly) charity bags.

Reassuringly, contact centre fundraising activities are a long way down the list.

No contact centre news this month from the Ofcom, TPS, PSA or in the world of payments.

Content accurate as of 8th November 2020

Find the latest update here

Previous regulation update:

October 2020 update

More from the Contact Centre Council:

The Future of the Contact Centre
Outbound Telemarketing Campaigns Guide
Is your contact centre ready for changes to the European Payment Services Directive?

Hear more from the DMA

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