PPI firm is fined for 146mil­lion cold calls

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Olivia Rudgard SO­CIAL AF­FAIRS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

A COM­PANY that made a record 146 mil­lion au­to­mated PPI calls in four months has been fined £350,000 by the pri­vacy watch­dog.

A 29-year-old BMW owner was the listed di­rec­tor of Your Money Rights Ltd be­tween March and July last year, when The In­for­ma­tion Com­mis­sioner’s Of­fice said it had made the nui­sance calls.

On his Face­book page last sum­mer Richard Jones ad­ver­tised for call cen­tre staff and posted about mod­i­fi­ca­tions to his BMW sports car.

In one post writ­ten in July he said: “Fri­day means one thing … it’s still not the week­end, so let’s kick some ass and make money.”

When con­tacted by The Daily Tele­graph about the com­pany’s fine, he said he did not want to comment and added: “You’ll have to speak to the per­son who’s got it now.”

Mr Jones re­signed in April, when the com­pany was taken over by Dou­glas Al­bury. It is in the process of be­ing dis­solved.

Mr Al­bury said he had been brought in only to wind the com­pany down, had not been in­volved with its ac­tiv­i­ties and did not know who pre­vi­ously ran it.

The ICO said peo­ple felt “ha­rassed and threat­ened” by the au­to­mated calls.

Com­plaints re­ceived by the pri­vacy watch­dog in­cluded one who said calls came twice a day. “It drives me in­sane,” he said. “I have a sick rel­a­tive I help care for so I have to an­swer the phone.”

An­other said: “I feel threat­ened by these un­so­licited and fre­quent nui­sance calls and am con­cerned that if I fol­low one of the op­tions I will be drawn into a scam.”

Fol­low­ing a planned law change, firms mak­ing nui­sance calls would no longer be able to go out of busi­ness “to try to duck an ICO fine”, Steve Eck­er­s­ley, ICO head of en­force­ment, said.

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