Energy Firm Fined For 1.6m Nuisance Calls

A marketing company that bombarded householders with 1.6 million nuisance calls has been fined £60,000.

Glasgow-based Omega Marketing Services prompted 177 complaints from the public over its calls trying to sell solar panels and green energy equipment.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) acted after establishing the firm had "ignored the rules around telephone marketing'' when it contacted people who were registered with the telephone preference service (TPS) and who had not given their permission to receive calls.

One complainer said: "My mother would have bought the product they were selling just to stop the phone calls.''

Another told the ICO: "If someone knocked on your door with such regularity, they'd get arrested for harassment.''

Ken Macdonald, head of ICO regions, said: "Omega Marketing Services had no right to make these calls and, in doing so, they caused frustration, anger and upset.

"That's why we took action. The people they were calling took action too - they took the time and trouble to complain, and it makes a difference.

"It helps us identify patterns, trace hidden numbers and build up a case against rogue firms.

"Ultimately, when people complain, we have a better chance of tracking down the rogue companies and stopping the nuisance.''

The ICO has also fined a London-based debt management company £40,000 for sending spam texts.

It said Vincent Bond Ltd sent 346,162 texts offering quick cash loans to people who had not given their permission to receive the messages.

The ICO currently receives about 13,000 complaints about spam texts, emails and nuisance calls a month.

Members of the public can report nuisance calls at ico.org.uk/calls.

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