The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has today announced fines totalling £495,000 to well-known companies that between them sent more than 354 million nuisance messages.
We Buy Any Car was fined £200,000 for sending more than 191 million emails. The firm also sent 3.6 million nuisance texts. Saga Services Ltd and Saga Personal Finance were fined £150,000 and £75,000 respectively for instigating more than 157 million emails between them. Sports Direct has been fined £70,000 for sending 2.5 million emails.
None of the companies had permission from people to send them marketing emails or texts. This is against the law.
Andy Curry, ICO Head of Investigations, said: ”Getting a ping on your phone or constant unwanted messages on your laptop from a company you don’t want to hear from is frustrating and intrusive.
“These companies should have known better. Today’s fines show the ICO will tackle unsolicited marketing, irrespective of whether the messages have been orchestrated by a small business or organisation, or a leading household name. The law remains the same and we hope today’s action sends out a deterrent message that members of the public must have their choices and privacy respected.
“Companies that want to send direct marketing messages must first have people’s consent. And people must understand what they are consenting to when they hand over their personal information. The same rules apply even when companies use third parties to send messages on their behalf.”
The ICO’s investigations into the companies were sparked by complaints from the public.