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Prodial Ltd fined £350,000 for automated calls.

 Article added: 04/03/2016

A West Sussex based lead generation company, responsible for over 46 million automated nuisance calls, has been fined £350,000 by the Information Commission’s Office (ICO).

The ICO received over 1,000 complaints about automated calls relating to Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Complainants complained about receiving multiple calls which often carried no opt-out or live operator options effectively rendering consumers unable to stop them.

Brighton-based Prodial Ltd was operating out of a residential property and also hiding its identity by withholding its telephone number when making calls, which made it harder for people to report them.

Companies can use internet phone lines to cheaply make enormous numbers of recorded marketing calls. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) makes it clear that companies can only make automated calls to people who have specifically consented to being contacted in this way. But the ICO investigation found Prodial had no such consent.

Prodial Ltd Monetary Penalty Notice as issued by the ICO

Company records indicated that the business may have generated in excess of £1million from the activities, but despite the sums of money involved, the company has been placed into voluntary liquidation by one of its directors Phillip Carrington.

Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner said:

This is one of the worst cases of cold calling we have ever come across. The volume of calls made in just a few months was staggering.
This was a company that knew it was breaking the law. A company director admitted that once the ICO became involved, the company shut down. That stopped the calls, but we want to send a clear message to other firms that this type of law-breaking will not pay. That is why we have handed out our highest ever fine.
No matter what companies do to try to avoid the law, we will find a way to act.

The ICO’s enforcement team is currently working with the liquidators to recover the fine.

The ICO has also ordered three Manchester-based companies to stop making unsolicited nuisance calls. Advanced Voip Solutions Ltd, Money Help Marketing Ltd and Preferred Pension LLP have all been issued enforcement notices. A fourth company, The Review Experts Ltd, escaped an enforcement notice as it was dissolved. The companies have been ordered to stop automated calls or face legal action.

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