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Kwik Fix Plumbers fined £90,000 for harassing elderly victims with nuisance calls

 Article added: 22/01/2015

Kwik Fix Plumbers Ltd (formerly Boiler Shield Ltd) of Croydon have been fined £90,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for making nuisance calls harassing vulnerable individuals. In several cases, the calls resulted in older people paying for boiler insurance it appeared they didn’t need.

Kwik Fix Plumbers Ltd had 214 complaints to the ICO and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). The complaints were received between 1st July 2013 and 31st March 2014. The recipients of the calls were already registered with the TPS and had not previously consented to being called by the company. However, Kwik Fix Plumbers Ltd continued to contact these people in breach of the law.

The ICO’s investigation found that Kwik Fix Plumbers Limited had no process in place to stop calls being made to people registered with the TPS, and was unable to provide evidence to show people had overridden the TPS by agreeing to receive live marketing calls. The company also failed to provide their employees with sufficient guidance or training on how to comply with electronic marketing rules, known as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

ICO Head of Enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said:

“The actions of this company are truly despicable. Contacting anyone registered with the TPS without their consent involves breaking the law, but harassing vulnerable people is disgraceful. We had no choice but to take action.”
“We will continue to work with Trading Standards and the police to protect vulnerable people from these types of calls and take enforcement action against those responsible for breaking the law.”

Although not everyone registered on the TPS is vulnerable, ignoring the TPS ultimately means that many vulnerable people will be contacted. To that end, it was not entirely surprising that during the investigation it was discovered that a number of complaints were from, or on behalf of, subscribers who were either elderly or suffering from Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

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