Published: Fri, May 12, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Record £400k fine for firm behind 100m nuisance calls

Record £400k fine for firm behind 100m nuisance calls

A cold-calling company that made nearly 100 million nuisance calls has been fined a record £400,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

It will make directors responsible so they can not avoid fines by putting companies into liquidation.

The company also hid its identity, making it harder for people to complain.

The ICO noted that over an 18 month periods the millions of calls made related to a range of subjects, including road accident claims and mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI). Keurboom did not have consent of the recipients of its intrusive marketing efforts, leaving it in breach of the law.

Keurboom and its director, Gregory Rudd, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with an information notice at Luton Magistrates Court in April 2016.

"The unprecedented scale of its campaign and Keurboom's failure to co-operate with our investigation has resulted in the largest fine issued by the Information Commissioner for nuisance calls". Rudd was fined £1,000 with costs of £435.95 and a £100 victim surcharge.

No sanction to prosecute Yogi in 2007 riots, UP govt tells HC
Yogi Adityanath, the then Gorakhpur MP, was instructed by the District Magistrate to not visit the site as it may create tensions. This came when the court was hearing a petition that sought an independent investigation into riots.

Now only firms can be fined up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office [ICO], but under the new rules directors can be personally fined the same amount.

But Mr Higgins claimed liquidation was a "typical ploy" by firms caught by the ICO under current privacy and electronic communications regulations to avoid paying fines.

Eckersley added that although Keurboom calls have stopped, its work in tracking down other companies that "blight people's lives with nuisance calls, texts and emails" will continue. A loophole now allows company directors to claim bankruptcy for firms that are fined, thereby dodging payment.

The watchdog also said that 2016/17 had been its busiest year for nuisance call investigations, 23 companies were fined a total of £1.9m.

And although the Information Commissioner's Office has said it is committed to recovering the fine, this is not certain. The previous record fine was for Prodial, who were fined £350,000 in February 2016 after making 46 million nuisance calls.

Like this: