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ICO fines anti nuisance call company for making nuisance calls

Firm harassed the elderly into signing up for 'Stop the Calls' service

By Jennifer Baker, 11 Aug 2015

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a company that blocks nuisance calls for making nuisance calls.

The ICO announced yesterday that Point One Marketing Ltd (previously Conservo Digital Ltd) from Bournemouth would have to fork out £50,000 for harassing people.

The company, which trades as "Stop the Calls", marketed a “call-blocking device” for phones, as well as a service that removed people from a cold call database.

According to the information watchdog, however, Point One Marketing was itself making a huge number of nuisance calls.

Prompted by hundreds of complaints from the public, the regulator investigated and found that the company used “pressure sales tactics” and outright bullying. Furthermore, in breach of the UK’s Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations, it had called people registered with the Telephone Preference Service to block cold calling.

Some complainants reported salespeople shouting at them when they asked not to be called again. One reported their mother being talked into providing credit card details, despite it being obvious she suffered with dementia, according to the ICO.

“This company lacked integrity. They tried to sell a product that they claimed would stop nuisance calls, knowing full well they were responsible for so many such calls themselves. They operated in what appears to have been such a bullying, aggressive way, which only makes matters worse. But they are by no means the only offender out there,” said ICO Head of Enforcement, Stephen Eckersley. ®

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