DM Design fined £90,000 over cold-calling

Scottish firm DM Design has been fined £90,000 for ‘blighting’ the public with thousands of unwanted marketing calls.

The fitted kitchen company, based in Cumbernauld, were complained about over 2000 times to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Telephone Preference Service. DM Design failed to check if individuals had opted out of marketing calls.

The fine is the first issued in the UK but the ICO said other firms faced complaints and more fines would follow.

DM Design was found to have replied to only a handful of the complaints they received. In one instance, an employed threatened to call at ‘more inconvenient times like Sunday lunchtime’.

The ICO said two more companies have been informed that they would be receiving penalties over breaches of the law. A further 10 companies are currently under investigation for cold calling and sending spam text messages.

Clear message

Information commissioner Christopher Graham said: “Today’s action sends out a clear message to the marketing industry that this menace will not be tolerated. “This company showed a clear disregard for the law and a lamentable attitude toward the people whose day they were disturbing. This is not good enough.

“This fine will not be an isolated penalty. We know other companies are showing a similar disregard for the law and we’ve every intention of taking further enforcement action against companies that continue to bombard people with unlawful marketing texts and calls.’’

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: “We’re pleased to see the Information Commissioner taking more action, but this small fine is far from the sort of deterrent needed to call time on the use of nuisance calls and texts.

“With seven in 10 people receiving an unsolicited call in the last three months, it’s clear that the current approach to enforcement isn’t working and much tougher action is needed.’’

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