Home improvement firm hit with £50k nuisance calls fine

Landline calls

A home improvement company has been landed with a 50,000 fine from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) for making unsolicited marketing calls.

Amber Windows received the penalty for contacting people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR), companies are prohibited from cold-calling anyone on the TPS register.

"This fine shows companies running marketing campaigns cannot plague the lives of people who have expressly asked not to receive unsolicited calls," said Simon Entwistle, the data protection watchdog's director of operations.

"We wrote repeatedly to Amber Windows asking them to stop, they ignored us. Now they are facing a 50,000 penalty and a legally enforceable order to cease their unlawful practices."

Between May 2011 and April 2013, the ICO received over 524 complaints from people on the register.

Over the past ten months the ICO has taken a hard-line approach to nuisance calls and texts carried out by organisations without the recipients' permission.

In June 2013, First Financial was hit with a 175,000 fine for sending out millions of unlawful SMS messages, which prompted thousands of complaints to the ICO.

More recently, in October 2013 two call centres featured in BBC Three's The Call Centre, received ICO fines totalling 225,000.

The Swansea based-firms, Nationwide Energy Services and We Claim You Gain, were taken to task for nuisance call-related offences as a result of 2,700 complaints received by the ICO and TPS.

The ICO is working to improve the enforcement of the PECR, including talking to the government to address the legal parameters of the law.

"We will continue to target these companies that bombard households across the UK with nuisance calls and texts. We are also currently speaking with the government to get the legal bar lowered, allowing us to take action at a much earlier stage," added Entwistle.

Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland is a passionate newshound whose journalism training initially involved a broadcast specialism, but he’s since found his home in breaking news stories online and in print.

He held a freelance news editor position at ITPro for a number of years after his lengthy stint writing news, analysis, features, and columns for The Inquirer, V3, and Computing. He was also the news editor at Silicon UK before joining Tom’s Guide in April 2020 where he started as the UK Editor and now assumes the role of Managing Editor of News.

Roland’s career has seen him develop expertise in both consumer and business technology, and during his freelance days, he dabbled in the world of automotive and gaming journalism, too.