A cold-calling financial services company from Liverpool that made more than 8 million nuisance sales calls has been hit with a massive fine by the ICO.
Speke-based Holmes Financial Ltd targeted people across the country with automated, recorded calls about PPI compensation over the course of two years.
The Information Commissioner’s Office found that Holmes had tried to make a total of 26.6 million automated sales calls, but only 8,792,907 calls got through.
It has handed the company a £300,000 fine.
Those hit repeatedly by the relentless cold calls spoke of the distress it had caused.
One complainant said: “I’m being hounded continually by this company”, while another spoke of the stress of constantly being phoned up despite asking for their number to be removed: “This has been going on for months if not years. It causes me anxiety feeling targeted.”
A third said Holmes Financial Solutions rang them “at least 3/4 times a week during work hours” while another member of the public who complained said: “It is always a little worrying when you get an unexpected call from a number you don’t recognize. One tends to think something has happened to a friend or family member.”
The company did not have people’s consent for sending direct marketing, which is against the law.
It also broke the law by trying to remain anonymous and failing to identify that it was Holmes Financial making the calls.
ICO Head of Enforcement, Steve Eckersley, said Holmes Financial were “rogue traders” who showed no mercy to the thousands of people stuck on their telephone marketing lists.
“The company paid no heed to laws on telephone marketing and showed no concern for the distress they were causing people, by making huge volumes of invasive calls,” Eckersley said.
He added: “The ICO will not tolerate companies who blatantly disregard the law and Holmes Financial Solutions Ltd has paid the price for their negligence.”