News - Advice Direct Ltd fined £20,000

Advice Direct Ltd fined £20,000 for calling numbers on the TPS

 Article added: 01/04/2016

Advice Direct Ltd, trading as National Workers Office, has been fined £20,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for calling people registered on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and for not maintaining a proper Do Not Call (DNC) list.

Advice Direct Ltd was offering to help people claim compensation for Hearing Loss as part of an Industrial Accident Claim.

National Workers Office

The TPS received 160 complaints between 7th April 2015 and 31st July 2015 equating to a fine of £125.00 per complaint.

The Blackburn based company was spoofing a local telephone number every time it dialled someone to make them think it was a local number calling them. This is not a new ‘thing’, some dialler companies offer this as part of their dialler solutions, but the process is designed to encourage people to think “oh, who’s calling me?” or “that’s unlikely to be a cold call if it’s a local company calling me” and ultimately to answer the phone.

Complaints were received by ICO from people claiming that they had previously told the company not to call them or that they were registered with the TPS.

Andy Curry, Enforcement Manager at the ICO, said:

This company has disobeyed the rules about making marketing calls and so we have acted. Other organisations should take note that there are laws around this type of marketing activity and they will face the consequences if they break them.
People told us false and misleading statements were made about records held by the company which indicated that household members had worked in a noisy environment. Some of the callers also appeared to have given the false impression that the company was offering a government-backed scheme.

Some individuals said they received multiple calls from Advice Direct on the same day and that some of the callers were abusive or threatening.

The law says that if a company wants to make calls promoting a product or service to an individual who has a telephone number registered with the TPS, then that individual must have given their consent to that company to receive such calls. In addition, organisations must not make calls to individuals who have previously said they don’t want those calls.

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