News : Devon PPI Call Centre Firm Fined
Oct 1, 2014 -- A Devon marketing firm has been fined after making hundreds of nuisance calls.
EMC Advisory Services Ltd based in Paignton has been fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) after more than 600 people complained about unwanted PPI calls.
The company appeared in the Telephone Preference Service top 20 most complained about organisations for the month of May 2012.
ICO’s Head of Enforcement, Stephen Eckersley, said: "We know our penalties are sending a clear message to the industry that making nuisance calls is unacceptable."
EMC Advisory Services Ltd have two call centres in Torquay and Exeter and used two third-party companies to make calls on their behalf to identify Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) claims. However, the company failed to make sure that people registered with the TPS, or who had previously asked not to be contacted, were not being called.
A spokesman for EMC Advisory Services Ltd, said: "Across our business, we aim to ensure that we only contact people who have given their permission for us to do so.
"However, between March 2013 and February 2014, this aim was not met for a small percentage of our customers, and we failed to prevent some unwanted calls from being made. For this, we offer our sincerest apologies."
The company was responsible for 630 complaints to the ICO and the TPS between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2014.
The ICO warned the company last year that under the electronic marketing regulations they were responsible for ensuring third parties making calls on their behalf were not contacting people who had previously opted out of receiving marketing calls.
Despite the warning, the ICO and the TPS continued to receive complaints from people receiving nuisance calls from either EMC Advisory Services Limited or the other companies acting on its behalf.
Mr Eckersley said: "Getting other businesses to make marketing calls on your behalf does not absolve you of your legal responsibilities.
"EMC Advisory Services Limited has received today’s penalty because they fundamentally failed to understand the law and didn’t act on our warning. The result was that hundreds of people continued to receive nuisance calls due to their actions."
A spokesman for EMC Advisory Services said it knowingly put itself on a pedestal in holding financial institutions to account over miselling PPI. He said: "We are working hard to ensure that our actions are beyond reproach.
"However, if we fail to meet those exacting standards, it is important to hold our hands up, apologise and ensure that we learn from any shortcomings.
"We have worked tirelessly for some time, engaging our many suppliers and reinforcing our standards and expectations, all to ensure that we offer the high level of service that we demand of ourselves, and that we have taken the necessary steps to prevent a reoccurrence.
"We appreciate that for those customers let down, these actions come too late, and to those people, we offer our sincerest apologies."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Thursday, October 2, 2014