Firm behind thousands of spam texts fined by ICO
Article added: 10/06/2016
Quigley and Carter Ltd, a Manchester based company, has been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) for sending spam text messages.
The text messages led to over 2,600 complaints and sparked an ICO investigation.
Stephen Eckersley, ICO head of enforcement, said:
“People were left annoyed, angered and upset by these texts. The rules around electronic marketing messages are simple and there for a very good reason – to protect people’s privacy rights and stop unwanted phone calls, texts and emails.”
“We committed to target organisations that broke the rules. Quigley and Carter should have known the rules and obeyed them. They failed to follow the law and so we’ve acted – to show them and others that organisations cannot ignore their obligations.”
Richard Kane, TPS Services, said:
“Contrary to what the ICO thinks, there's still a lot of confusion out there in the marketplace. We talk to companies all the time who are still very confused. Simply put, the market seems to have grown over the last 10 years or so with one understanding of when they can or cannot send text messages (and other PECR related communications), and it is struggling to get its head around the ICO’s recent ruling, and the many different ways data is collected and sold on, to work out whether it is PECR compliant, or not. This is only made more difficult and confusing by some well-established (and logically respected) businesses claiming that data is OK use when, we would argue, that it is not. If you want to play safe, don't text.”
Quigley and Carter contracted a third party supplier to send the texts on its behalf, but failed to check properly that the individuals to whom the messages were sent had properly consented to receive them.
An important note here is that the ultimate responsibility lay with Quigley and Carter and not with the supplier of the text broadcasting services, regardless of any assurances the supplier may have made about the data or its service.
The text messages were directing individuals to Quigley and Carter’s website, www.mybankrefund.com, which offers services to do with mis-sold packaged bank accounts.
This is an example of a text sent by the company:
“Why pay a fee for your bank account when you don’t have to, 2108.45 is being paid on average, fill out www.mybankrefund.com for us to send yours out ASAP.”
Quigley & Carter Ltd Monetary Penalty Notice as issued by the ICO
Thousands of complaints about the texts were made to the ICO and the 7726 spam reporting service.