Call centres in BBC Three programme fined £225,000

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued penalties to Nationwide Energy Services of £125,000 and to We Claim You Gain of £100,000.

The ICO said the sums include the first penalties linked to nuisance calls over Payment Protection Insurance, reports The BBC.

Both companies said they intended to appeal, saying the fines were not the “appropriate course of action”.

Nationwide Energy Services and We Claim You Gain are part of Save Britain Money Ltd, which is based in Swansea.

The penalties were issued in response to 2,700 complaints to the Telephone Preference Service or reports to the ICO using its online survey between May 2011 and the end of December 2012.

The ICO said neither company had carried out adequate checks to see whether the people they were calling had registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

In a statement, Nationwide Energy Services and We Claim You Gain said they “remain committed to the best interests of our customers at all times”.

It said it did not accept that issuing fines was the appropriate course of action and said it would be issuing a formal appeal to the ICO shortly.

Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations governing electronic marketing, call centres have to check if people are registered on the TPS.

ICO director of operations Simon Entwisle told the BBC that the investigation into the call centres had been ongoing for more than a year.

“We’ve given the companies ample opportunities to put things right, but unfortunately they’ve not been able to stop the complaints flowing in about their cold calls.”

The ICO has issued fines totalling more than £750,000 to companies who have breached the regulations. It is carrying out 10 more investigations.

The call centres are the subject of a fly-on-the-wall documentary The Call Centre which began on 4 June 2013 on BBC Three. The BBC has so-far declined to comment.