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FEP Heatcare Ltd Fined £180,000

 Article added: 19/03/2016

FEP Heatcare Ltd made over 2.5 million automated recorded calls promoting the company’s products and services putting them at the top of the ICO’s compliant list.

Although the company withheld its number, ICO investigators were still able to trace the calls to the Glasgow-based company.

Ken Macdonald, Assistant Commissioner for Scotland, said:

“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.”

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

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 messages are covered by the Privacy Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) and can 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.

The ICO found that FEP instigated 2,692,217 automated calls between April 2015 and July 2015.

Ken Macdonald, Assistant Commissioner for Scotland, also said:

“We know people hate nuisance calls and what this company did made people angry enough to complain. The kind of calls FEP Heatcare was making – recorded and about energy services – generated the most complaints to the ICO in February 2016. Combined with automated calls about PPI, they made up 66% of our recorded complaints.”
FEP Heatcare Ltd Enforcement Notice as issued by the ICO

Vince Costa-Barnett, Director TPS Services, said:

“Automated calls is a hot topic at the moment, but if you’re hitting the ICO’s radar for Telephone Preference Service complaints then you’re better off staying away from texting and automated voice unless you can be absolutely sure it’s compliant and that’s not as easy as it sounds. FEP’s fine reflects the fact they were warned, and seemingly didn’t care. That’s another warning to companies out there, if you’re being warned by the ICO, then you’re being warned!”

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.

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