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Littlewoods bombards man by phone. Big mistake

Barrack-room lawyer tells El Reg how you can claim compensation

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A Manchester man has received £150 compensation from Littlewoods Shop Direct Group after he was repeatedly subjected to misdirected telephone marketing calls.

Dave King received the money in an out-of-court settlement from Everyday Financial Solutions, Littlewoods' financial services business. He had threatened court action after his attempts to remove his telephone number from Littlewoods' cold-call database failed, obliging him to pay BT to block calls from the catalogue firm.

To make matters worse, the calls weren't even directed at King. The number was held in error as the contact number for someone King didn't even know.

"Just before Christmas I started receiving promotional phone calls from Littlewoods - I received 16 calls in one week but they had my phone number by mistake as they kept asking to speak to someone else," he explained. "I told them time and time again that they had the wrong number and they assured me on numerous occasions that they would sort it out, but the calls continued - even though they had a legal obligation to correct the data that was held on their system as soon as possible.

"In the end I had to pay to get BT to put a block on their phone number so that they couldn't call me," he added.

King, something of a legal eagle, claimed compensation under Section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998, for damages incurred due to the contravention of rights under the Act. The dispute was settled out of court after Littlewoods agreed to pay £150 and remove King's details from its databases.

Others subject to similar problems might also be able to claim compensation, King said.

The Register has copies of the correspondence between King and Littlewoods, in which the firm apologises but fails to explain why King's entry was not deleted earlier, despite repeated promises from telemarketing staff.

Littlewoods Direct Home Shopping declined our invitation to comment on this story. ®

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