back to article Brit watchdog fines financial services biz £80k for text spam

Britain's data watchdog has issued an £80,000 penalty to a financial advisor that dispatched hundreds of thousands of unsolicited text messages during lockdown. H&L Business Consulting, based in Penrith, Cumbria, was found by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to have sent 378,553 texts between January and June 2020, …

  1. Flak
    Flame

    Personal liability

    The company fined here has one share of a nominal value of £1, which is unpaid (thanks to the information available at Companies House). So a fine of £80k against the company may have been issued and that makes a good headline, but it will never be paid.

    It is time that the culprit here (and others like him) are held personally liable.

    1. GlenP Silver badge

      Re: Personal liability

      They can be, since December 2018.

      1. tmTM

        Re: Personal liability

        but will that power ever be utilised?

    2. oiseau Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Personal liability

      It is time that the culprit here (and others like him) are held personally liable.

      As we have all probably gathered from the miriad of articles posted here at ElReg on this very same subject, it is quite improbable that something like that will ever happen.

      The problem is with the regulators and with the law.

      There's far too much easy money in this particular activity so what you have is a great deal of brown envelope traffic and ridiculous fines factored into the cost of carrying on as usual.

      Save the people they target no one is really interested in putting a stop to it.

      My take:

      Sent 378,553 texts between January and June 2020?

      Company thought it wise to change address to avoid the regulator's probe?

      Enough said.

      One minute prison time per message sent for everyone responsible/involved.

      ie: from shareholders to directors to the IT shithead who set it up ...

      All of them.

      378,553 messages divided (say) 5 responsible individuals = ~ 75,000 minutes each for one.

      That's 52 days doing porridge for each one of them.

      Effective time served, no house arrest, community service or any such nonsense.

      Once you set the example once or twice, that will be the end of it.

      But ...

      Best,

      O.

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Personal liability

        The penalties are largely irrelevant because the Tories refuse to spend any money on enforcement (it might hurt their donors).

        Myself I'd have fixed penalty of the current first class stamp rate per call made. But it needs to be enforced and collected.

  2. Filippo Silver badge

    > "Get Debt FREE during the Lockdown! Write off 95% of ALL DEBTS with ALL charges and fees FROZEN. [...]" was one example of a text sent.

    > Andy Curry [...] "sought to capitalize"

    Looks like a job well done to me!

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
      Coat

      Thankfully the watchdog was on the case

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now if you said someone had actually paid a fine I would have guessed it was an April Fools.

  4. John Robson Silver badge

    That makes a text 20p (plus standard message rate)

    Far cheaper than many other text options.

  5. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Original address was fake

    71-75 Shelton Street, London, WC2H

    https://www.flexioffices.co.uk/london/garden-studios-shelton-street-wc2h_id0013Y00002VvHs3QAF

    It's a serviced office and the management would have coughed up the renter's details in a heartbeat if anyone had asked (they still would), assuming it was ever actually valid in the first place

    (Under normal circumstances the T&C for these places prohibit them from being used as an "Address for service")

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