Zahier Hussain t/a National Advice Clinic fined £850,000
Article added: 03/12/2015
Zahier Hussain, trading under several business identities including the Industrial Hearing Clinic, National Advice Clinic and Central Compensation Office, has been fined £850,000 by the Claims Management Regulator (CMR).
To be clear, the fine relates to a number of issues, not just TPS. However, breaching the TPS was the first and foremost complaint in the MOJ’s official press release issued yesterday.
The National Advice Clinic, based in Lancashire, which also trades as the Industrial Hearing Clinic or the Central Compensation Office, made nearly 6 million calls between October 2014 and April 2015 about noise induced hearing loss claims.
Many of those called were registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) – which tells companies that they did not want to receive such calls. This resulted in almost 2000 complaints being received by Ofcom which is responsible for the TPS.
If your company receives 2,000 complaints, you might think that you’re exceptional. However, in this very proactive marketplace the complaints can rack up if you fail to properly TPS screen and when the regulators assesses your business they look at all the complaints regardless of age.
The Claims Management Regulator (CMR) regulates companies responsible for helping consumers claim compensation for issues such as Personal Injury and mis-sold PPI. The government changed the law in December 2014 to give the CMR the power to impose financial penalties on companies who break the rules. Screening against the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) being one of those rules.
This is the fourth and biggest fine issued so far by the CMR and brings the total collected to £1.6 million.
CMR head Kevin Rousell, said:
This company’s cold-calling campaign was deliberate and sustained, and a flagrant breach of our marketing requirements.
They showed an alarming disregard for the misery their tactics can cause, particularly to elderly and vulnerable people.
The size of this penalty demonstrates how seriously we take this issue - nuisance calls will not be tolerated.
Kevin RousellHead of Claims Management Regulation at Ministry of Justice
Justice Minister Lord Faulks said:
Nuisance calls are a real scourge to households, and people have simply had enough.
I am pleased the regulator has imposed such a substantial fine for such blatant and shocking behaviour.
This follows other large fines and the removal of over a thousand licenses from claims management companies since 2010.
The government is committed to protecting the public from this nuisance - that at best wastes people’s time and at worst causes significant distress.
To that end the Government is currently running exploratory solutions through its Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). This is where small businesses get to bring their idea to the table for the SBRI to consider for their overall worth and whether not funding assistance can be provided.
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