The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently issued fines totalling £150,000 to two firms engaged in marketing calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (the official UK opt-out register through which people can elect not to receive marketing calls) (TPS). It is a legal requirement in the UK that all organizations refrain from calling numbers registered on the TPS without the recipient’s consent. HPAS Ltd (trading as Safestyle UK) and Laura Anderson Ltd (trading as Virgo Home Improvements) violated this provision, and the ICO received more than 650 complaints over a 20-month period.

The ICO emphasized that the legal position is clear and that the companies in question had not subscribed to the TPS register to verify whether the recipients of their calls had opted out of direct marketing. ICO’s Head of Enforcement commented: “Companies have no excuse—if people are registered with the Telephone Preference Service they are off limits. The law is clear and if companies fall foul of it with illegal and overly aggressive telesales tactics, we will take action on behalf of the people who suffer the nuisance.”

TIP: These fines emphasize the importance of verifying whether the intended recipients of marketing calls have opted out.