back to article ICO fines anti nuisance call company for making nuisance calls

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined a company that blocks nuisance calls for making nuisance calls. The ICO announced yesterday that Point One Marketing Ltd (previously Conservo Digital Ltd) from Bournemouth would have to fork out £50,000 for harassing people. The company, which trades as "Stop the Calls", …

  1. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Meh

    £50k for targeting the elderly, doesn't seem much.

    But beyond the scale of the penalty, I wonder what the ICO's success rate is in actually recovering the penalties it levies? I'd expect all the scumbucket firms they fine will have (having been notified of the ICO's plan to levy a penalty) wound up the legal entity on the receiving end, moved assets into their wife's name, and all the other low life tricks to avoid paying. Somewhat like the "bankruptcy" of Andrew Crossley, who is now apparently working for a law firm in Eastbourne. Not that far from Bournemouth, funnily enough.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Re: Meh

      Geography isn't your strong point is it? There's about a county and a half between them.

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Meh

        Geography isn't your strong point is it?

        Not today actually. I'll raise you an upvote for that.

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Hanging would be too good for them

    Pity we can't do something creative like draw and quarter these types of bastards.

  3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    In the US...

    In the US, after one of the recent heads of the FCC got pissed about people constantly calling him and the FTC (who were *originally* supposed to enforce the Do Not Call list) doing nothing about it... he found each and every FCC rule on the books he could fine people for and had the FCC start going after them. Also pretty ineffective.

    But, Congress also passed a law saying *individuals* are allowed to go after these fuckers for like $500-$1,500 per call(depending on circumstances.) The FCC and FTC both still operate on some assumption that companies are at least trying to play by the rules and are almost totally stymied by shell companies. Individuals can do this however they'd like, though, people online fighting telemarketers will typically wait few weeks for payment, then have a judge put a lien against the responsible parties stuff (which the judge DOES say yes to.. and the responsible party is the actually responsible owner, not some valueless shell company, it's easy in the US to argue some shell company with a single owner, that the owner is actually responsible.) Then if they still don't pay up, send in martials, thugs, or repo men to take their stuff. Obviously if you claim a nice car is worth $1 a judge will have harsh words, but YOU get to decide how much the stuff is worth, not the telemarketer! Apparently many are so surprised at being sued that they simply pay up though. In one case, the person decided to seize all of their illegal autodialers as payment, when the FCC and FTC fine illegal telemarketers they are daft enough to not demand seizure of illegal equipment!

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: In the US...

      citation/details please? I'd be DELIGHTED to put this knowledge to use myself - as I'm sure other US-based Reg readers would as well.

      1. David Webb

        Re: In the US...

        AFAIK, when they call you, you have to request them to not call you again, they go "sure thing boss", if they then call you again.... you can sue, my friend was telling me about it.

        Over here in Blighty, I use TrueCall, costs £100 and the number of spam calls we've got since I installed it is 0, friends are starred so they come straight through, spam callers get a "we're screening our calls, tell us who you are" message and hang up straight away knowing they aint getting through. I highly recommend it.

        1. Ray Gratis
          Thumb Up

          Re: In the US...

          @ David Webb

          Re TrueCall... I've had one of these for 18 months - brilliant.

  4. James 100

    One small step

    Is this enough to wipe out all the profits they've made from this scam, though? If not, all it's done is erode their profit margin a bit: put up their overheads, in effect, so they can just pay up and pocket the rest quite happily.

    With so many of these illegal spam calls being anonymous, though, will they even begin to deal with the worst offenders? Time to ban anonymous calls, IMO - at least from non-residential lines - or have a per-call surcharge; even just a pound per anonymous call should wipe out most of these scammers.

    Of course, if enough of us blocked anonymous calls, they'd find it self-defeating and have to stop hiding like that anyway...

    1. Ugotta B. Kiddingme

      Re: One small step

      one mosquito buzzing around your head is annoying. Five are distracting. A hundred will cause you to go elsewhere.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One small step

      Of course, if enough of us blocked anonymous calls, they'd find it self-defeating and have to stop hiding like that anyway

      Most ways to block them cost money, the TPS is useless to non UK based (ie most of them) call centres

      Like the PPI stuff and driving whilst on the phone, it wont end until people get fined a decent amount of money to make them take notice, £60 isn't even an hours wages to most of them

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. andykb3

        Re: One small step

        £60 / hour? Really? Thats over £110k / year salary! I sense an imminent change of career coming!

    3. Robert Baker
      FAIL

      Re: One small step

      "Time to ban anonymous calls, IMO - at least from non-residential lines..."

      Unfortunately, there are legitimate reasons for anonymous calls; I used to volunteer for a local branch of Mind, and their calling was set to anonymous in case, for example, they ever needed to return the call of an abuse victim without the abuser later finding out from the phone bill or whatever that they had done so.

      If I blocked anonymous calls, my GP surgery would be unable to contact me.

  5. Joe User
    Mushroom

    "This company lacked integrity."

    Point One is a marketing firm; nothing more needs to be said....

  6. Ray Merrall

    Fight back?

    Interesting conversation I had with a "cold caller". An old mobile that I keep live for personal reasons starts getting the junk international calls saying press 2 to have some one contact you. Sure enough, a day later got a call from someone in the UK wanting to get what ever. I had the greatest pleasure in informing them that not only did I have his name, his business name and phone number, the phone number of the original autodialler in South Africa confirming a business relationship, I would start invoicing his employers £100 every time I got any spam calls. Further, as I was recording this call, I would use it as evidence in the small claims court to obtain payment and damages against his company. After huffing and puffing, threatening to flood my phone number with calls, I ended the call.

    Funnily enough, there have been no spam calls to that phone in over 3 weeks, whereas before, there had been up to 2 a day.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good to know the Chocolate Teapot Office is

    f̶u̶n̶d̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶i̶t̶s̶e̶l̶f̶ apprehending criminal masterminds.

    BTW what's the next low hanging fruit?

    More bread and circuses...

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