back to article Nuisance call-blocking firm fined £170,000 for making almost 200,000 nuisance calls

A firm that sells nuisance call-blocking systems is itself nursing a £170,000 fine from the UK's data watchdog, ironically for cold calling almost 200,000 people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). Brighton-based Yes Consumer Solutions Ltd (YCSL) failed to check its marketing list against the TPS, and as …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Until the poor sods that got rung up get some money

    This is just an industry reach-round ....

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That fine isn't getting paid. Anyone want to give me odds on the company declaring bankruptcy, all the directors resigning and joining Yes Amazing Solutions Ltd, which has mysteriously acquired offices, equipment, and a marketing database from somewhere...

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Directors can now be directly jailed for non payment of fines with regards old calling

      However you still have to go through the motions first.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Yes, they're obviously a load of motions.

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Thank god for el Reg and dodgy wit, sadly lacking elsewhere.

      2. Duffaboy

        Only if they can find them

        They will most likely be hiding offshore some where

  3. Blofeld's Cat Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Er ...

    I'm not sure which part of this is the most bizarre:

    - A supplier of nuisance call-blocking systems doesn't understand that a cold call made without the recipient's explicit consent is a nuisance call.

    - The sole director of the company bought the contact list from a liquidated marketing company they used to be the sole director of.

    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Er ...

      The latter point is particularly good. We should've screened the data better from that company we... just came from?

  4. sitta_europea Silver badge

    I'll be very suprprised if the fine is paid.

    More likely all that will happen is that another insolvency will be posted at Companies House, and another company will start up with the same assets. Again.

    1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      In Luxembourg, if you are the general manager of a company that goes insolvent, you are forbidden from ever being a general manager in any Luxembourg-based company again.

      Generally there's a limited amount of siblings and cousins an incompetent idiot can call on (and who will agree to take the fall), so I rather like that law.

      1. Dwarf Silver badge

        Public floggings

        Perhaps if they cant pay, then their directors can be educated via another route that might be more memorable ?

        1. gandalfcn Silver badge

          Re: Public floggings

          The old bent over in a barrel trick?

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        AFAIK there are powers in the UK to deal with a banned director operating through through proxies like that. Assuming those whose names are on the notepaper know about it they'd be in trouble as well.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          There are, but experience is that getting those who need to pay attention to actuially PAY attention is difficult

  5. teebie

    "188,493 unsolicited direct marketing calls" "helped 12,000 customers "

    Congratulations, that's an almost -1,500% success rate.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It appears that "TPS" is just as useless and futile as the "Do Not Call" list here in the US.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Well, no power companies have phoned me today to offer to switch from my current power company, so that's something. But it's only 9:25am.

    2. Jim Whitaker
      Happy

      Mostly, TPS seems pretty good. Obviously we have crooks (and incompetents) just like anyone.

    3. N2 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      TPS

      Run by a marketing company?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      TPS useless

      TPS (run by marketing wankers)

      is fucking pointless.

      They want so many details about the company that phoned you, which in most cases is impossible to get from the twats phoning you.

      so your complaint is immediately invalid, due to not being able to get the directors shoe sizes.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: TPS useless

        Don't bother notifying TPS, just go to the ICO on it

  7. TheProf Silver badge
    Joke

    28 days later

    "Phoning individuals registered with TPS for longer than 28 days is a violation of electronic marketing law"

    Wow! I'd have hung up long before that.

    1. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: 28 days later

      Keep them coming.

  8. HildyJ Silver badge
    FAIL

    £170,000 ?

    So we're talking about less than £1 per call? Telemarketers can handle that as a cost of doing business expense.

    The fine needs to be more like £100 or even £1,000 per call.

    Then we can see about making it stick and maybe getting some of it back to the callees.

    1. Ken G

      Re: £170,000 ?

      I don't know, they will have a very low conversion rate for blind calls and a low profit per call.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: £170,000 ?

        "I don't know, they will have a very low conversion rate for blind calls and a low profit per call."

        Fuck the conversion rate, the fuckers need to pay for all the fucking harrasment they do.

        We are not talking about fining just for a cut of the fucking profits, it needs to fucking hurt.

        i.e 100 times the fucking profit.

        (strange you are worried about their profit, you a director of it?)

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: £170,000 ?

      The UK needs to use the USA's Telephone COnsumer Protection Act as a template

      for people called: $500 _PER CALL_ statutory damages - collectable against both the marketer AND the company that hired them (tripled for wilful violations such as breaching TPS)

      On top of that the FCC can impose fines of $11,000 per call (again, tripled for wilful violations)

      The director of the FCC was quite open that this was intended to cause offenders to go out of business via the death of a million paper cuts

  9. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Fined?

    I would say invoiced, but then fines are not tax deductible. Still, that sounds more like just a cost of doing business rather than deterrent.

  10. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Premium

    All private phone numbers should be premium. At least you'd be paid for listening to marketers.

    Calls could be free of charge if coming from the contact list.

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Boffin

    I'd sentence the directors

    to one month in the public stocks.

    There would be long queues of people wanting to get at least a bit of pyrrhic revenge.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: I'd sentence the directors

      No they should be required to meaningfully answer 200,000 nuisance calls.

    2. gandalfcn Silver badge

      Re: I'd sentence the directors

      Bending them over in a barrel would be interesting. No KY allowed.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: I'd sentence the directors

      publishing their names, phone numbers and private addresses might be a good dissuader for continuing

  12. Shoe

    These types of operations are outright frauds and should be dealt with as such. The damage they cause to their elderly victims is immesurable (mentally, not just financially). These operations (which have been going for years) slip between the gaps because they're not considered big enough for police to deal with, and Trading Standards don't have the resources to catch them. Well done to the ICO for doing something, but it's just a slap on the wrists. Until they are dealt with properly

  13. fidodogbreath Silver badge

    Be the change...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "..., whose sole director at the time of that company's liquidation is now sole director of YCSL, "

    How is that even possible?

  15. fireflies
    Coat

    Acronym Soup

    So to summarise, YCSL got a list from YMSL, did not check TPS; the ICO cited PECR, PDF linked?

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese

      Re: Acronym Soup

      TL;DR

  16. gandalfcn Silver badge

    Dear Vultures, hate to be a Grammar Nazi but "between October 2018 to October 2019."? It's between .... and, and from.... to.

    Next you'll be saying metric tonnes like the Grauniad.

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Be honest...

      @gandalfcn - "Dear Vultures, hate to be a Grammar Nazi but "

      Come on, you're enjoying it, or you would have used the corrections address to report discretely.

      Full disclosure: I did chuckle at your comment and upvote it, so I'm to blame for encouraging you.

      1. Richard Pennington 1
        Headmaster

        Re: Be honest...

        discreetly.

        1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Be honest...

          @Richard Pennington 1 - Well caught, but I was using the alternate definition:

          dis-Crete-ly In the manner one might make disparaging remarks about a Greek island.

          Honestly.

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