Cheshire, England, April 17, 2019 -- The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a funeral plan firm £80,000 for making marketing calls to people who had opted out of receiving them.
52,000 people on the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) were called by the Avalon Direct Limited between March and November 2017, which is against the law.
The calls, made from call centre in Cheshire, were made by the company which at the time was called Plan My Funeral Avalon Ltd.
The ICO said its investigation into Avalon had found two of the company’s directors at the time of the contravention, had previously been involved in an unconnected ICO investigation.
It said the company involved in that case had been fined in January 2018 for carrying out unsolicited direct marketing.
Those same two people were also the directors of the lead generator company used by Avalon for the data collection in this current case, and suggest they would have been "fully aware of their legal obligations surrounding direct marketing, consent and the TPS register."
The ICO said it understands the directors concerned are no longer associated with Avalon.
"The funeral plan industry has been on our radar for a while and it is fair to say the sector as a whole has had some issues in terms of complying with the law," said Andy Curry, Enforcement Group Manager at the ICO.
"That’s not always reflected in volumes of complaints, however, because the very nature of this particular sector means the people being targeted for funeral plan sales may be older, potentially more vulnerable and may not be as technologically savvy or as active online."
Curry urged people to speak to older relatives, neighbours or friends and ensure they are registered with the TPS to avoid similar calls from other companies.
"If they have still been getting nuisance calls, they can help report these calls to us as this helps us build up intelligence on companies and sectors where we need to take action."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2019
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