A company based in Hove, East Sussex has been identified as responsible for millions of nuisance phone calls being made every day. Up to six million calls a day were made using the latest in technology, which allowed the company to leave anonymous messages on mobile phones and landlines.
The company reportedly had over 90 million individual telephone numbers in its possession, which is the equivalent of more than one number for every person living in the United Kingdom. The millions of calls offered to help people to consolidate their debts or pursue a compensation claim for payment protection insurance.
Hundreds of complaints
An investigation was carried out by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which acted after it received hundreds of complaints from people regarding nuisance calls from a number of numbers linked to the company. Worryingly, a significant share of complaints came from vulnerable and elderly people, who werefrightened by the persistent calling.
As part of a complex undertaking, the call centre literally called every number in its database, over 90 million in total, and then restarted the entire process after each number had been called. The company then allegedly sold these details to other companies, which served to worsen the problem.
The ICO outlined some details of how the company operated. Apparently, it allowed victims to press the number 9 on the handset if you wanted to speak to a call handler, or to press 5 to stop the calls. But evidence shows that even people who pressed the number 5 continued to receive calls.
This behaviour is indicative of the current climate in the cold calling industry, which has received considerable criticism in recent months. The government promised to take stronger action against nuisance call companies, many of which offer debt consolidation or PPI repayments. As of 6th April 2015, a single complaint will lead directly to legal action. The maximum penalty for nuisance calling is £500,000 as of 6th April 2015.
If it becomes evident that the company in Hove passed on the millions of numbers to other firms without authorisation, a criminal investigation could also occur.
Accident Advice Helpline don’t cold call
You can rest assured that we do not cold call our customers. In fact, all of the clients who we speak to have come directly to us through one channel or another. If you have been injured in accident which wasn’t your fault in the last three years then you are entitled to make a claim, so give us a call on 0800 689 0500 to speak to a friendly advisor.