Glasgow-based FEP Heatcare fined 180,000 pounds for nuisance calls

The Sydney News.Net Friday 18th March, 2016

glasgow-based fep heatcare fined 180,000 pounds for nuisance calls

LONDON - FEP Heatcare Ltd, a Glasgow-based boiler replacement firm, has been fined 180,000 pounds by the UK regulator for making 2.6 million unwanted calls and playing householders a recorded message promoting its products and services without their consent.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has listed FEP Heatcare as one of Britain's most complained about nuisance callers for having instigated 2,692,217 unwanted automated calls between April and July 2015.

ICO investigators were able to trace the calls to the Glasgow-based company even though the phone messages did not identify the caller.

"This company was already on our hit list. FEP Heatcare thought they could avoid detection by hiding their identity, but we tracked them down and have taken action," said Ken Macdonald, Assistant Commissioner for Scotland, in a statement Thursday.

FEP Heatcare Ltd first came to the attention of the ICO in February 2015 when it appeared on a list compiled by the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) of the top 20 most complained about nuisance call companies.

Despite a warning from the ICO that it must operate within the rules or face action, FEP Heatcare deliberately broke the rules again, this time making marketing calls playing a recorded message.

Calls that play a recorded message must only be made to people who have given the organisation their permission to receive this type of call. FEP Heatcare admitted it did not have that consent.

According to ICO among the complaints received was : "I am disabled. I don't very often get calls on my landline, so it means I have to get up and walk to the phone, which causes me inconvenience and pain - frustrating when it's a nuisance advertising call that I didn't want anyway."

Besides the fine, the ICO has also issued a "stop" notice to FEP Heatcare to ensure it does not make any further nuisance automated marketing calls. If it does not comply with the notice, the company could face court action.

"We know people hate nuisance calls and what this company did made people angry enough to complain," Macdonald said.

"The kind of calls FEP Heatcare was making recorded and about energy services generated the most complaints to the ICO in February this year. Combined with automated calls about PPI, they made up 66% of our recorded complaints."

ICO data for January shows it had 68 cases under investigation, with third party information notices having been issued in 43 cases.

Last month, the regulator levied 500,000 pound of monetary penalties, including 350,000 pound against Prodial Ltd for making over 46 million unsolicited automated marketing calls, in one of the worst cases of nuisance calls the ICO has investigated.

The regulator also levied 70,000 pound penalty against Direct Security Marketing Limited for making unsolicited automated marketing calls, and 80,000 pound fine against My IML Ltd for unlawfully calling TPS-registered subscribers.

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