Action on cold calls demanded
Rutherglen and Cambuslang’s most senior politicians have called for more action on coldcallers.
A firm based at the Cambuslang Investment Park was given a record fine for the nuisance calls.
Solar panels firm Home Energy and Lifestyle Management Limited (Helms) made national news last week when it was fined £200,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
ICO found that the company had been making calls on an industrial scale and that they had “made people’s lives a misery” as part of a campaign offering ‘free’ solar panels.
The ICO received 242 complaints over the campaign from October to December 2014.
Margaret Ferrier, MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, said: “This case highlights the need for more action to be taken to combat this shady practice.
“The ICO received more than 180,000 complaints about nuisance calls last year, an increase of 20,000 compared to two years ago.
“People are fed up with being pestered by sales calls.
“My constituency office is bombarded with cold calls following our recent permanent telephone line installation and I fully understand how much they can inconvenience.
“Whilst the UK Government has given more power to the ICO to deal with this nuisance, more needs to be done to truly tackle this issue once and for all.
“Tough fines on nuisance callers is a great deterrent but ongoing action is needed to stamp out this menace.”
MSP James Kelly led a Holyrood debate in which he asked the Scottish Government to do more on the issue, starting with publishing an action plan.
He said: “I know from my own surgeries that nuisance calls and texts are a huge issue for people here in Rutherglen and Cambuslang, infringing on their privacy and making daily life a misery, particularly for older and more vulnerable members of the community.
“National consumer research shows huge frustration and many simply do not know what action they can take.
“There is plenty that the Scottish Government can do to help tackle unwanted calls and the first step should be to ensure that companies they are working with through procurement are assured through the Telephone Preference Service.
“There a number of recommendations from consumer organisations which the Scottish Government can implement.
“It’s time for the SNP to look at this issue affecting people right here in Rutherglen and Cambuslang and publish an action plan, setting out exactly what it will do to tackle nuisance calls.”
Helms have announced they intend to appeal the decision.
Do more James Kelly led debate at Holyrood
Fed up Margaret Ferrier MP