ICO fines 'Wolf of Wall Street' electrical survey biz for nuisance calls
That's a £50k penalty and another shaming for Kent-based MyHome Installations
Electrical survey provider MyHome Installations Ltd, which entered the hall of shame on the Beeb's Rogue Traders for pressure selling to pensioners, is facing a £50,000 fine for nuisance calls.
The UK Information Commissioner's Office probed 169 complaints from members of the public whose phone numbers were listed on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), meaning they specifically opted out of receiving calls from marketing monkeys.
The ICO found MyHome Installations, based in Kent, England, had obtained details for potential customers over 18 months from third-party companies that allegedly insisted the personal details had been screened against the no-call register.
However, MyHome Installations was unable to hand over proof of consent, claiming a previous marketing manager had bought the information and added it to call lists without making any reference to its source.
"This company blatantly ignored its responsibilities," said ICO head of enforcement, Steve Eckersley. "It did not carry out the proper due diligence checks on its suppliers to make sure they were operating within the law and despite initial warnings from us, still didn't resolve the problem."
He said the ICO suspected the "complaints we received were just the tip of the iceberg".
One complainant told the data watchdog: "Callers asking about my home security are of concern to me, as they may be sounding out the property prior to crime."
Another added: "They wanted to carry out an electrical survey of my home and propose changes. I said no, I don't want to participate and then another girl phoned back half an hour later to pester me into getting a quote and insisted that I would be putting my home at risk if I didn't."
The shoddy work practises of MyHome Installations were highlighted previously by Rogue Traders. The programme exposed some pretty nasty individuals at the firm that weren't afraid to push elderly people to buy its services, using scaremongering tactics.
One member of staff told an undercover reporter the atmosphere on the sales floor was like The Wolf of Wall Street, and another boasted that he used someone's disability to his advantage in sales pitches. Lovely stuff!
Liam Walsh, boss at MyHome Installations, told KentOnline that the ICO in their correspondence had "accepted that we did not deliberately contravene the Regulations.
"However, we understand that in 2015 and early 2016 our system of screening data against the TPS was flawed." He claimed the firm had updated its database and "not had one single complaint since". ®
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