Company director fined and banned for making unsolicited marketing calls

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has handed a lead-generation business a £260,000 fine for making unsolicited marketing calls to the public.

Its report shows that the data regulator was first alerted to Easyleads Limited’s activity in October 2015.

The sole director, Shaun Harkin, had been warned about the regulations preventing unsolicited marketing calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), but continued to carry on contacting the public.

Despite this warning, ICO received further complaints relating to automated calls between January and June 2017.

An investigation ensued, and the company was fined for making unsolicited marketing calls to people without their specific consent and failing to include a company name and contact details in the recorded message.

After failing to pay the penalty, ICO approached the High Court to issue wind up proceeding against Easyleads in February 2018. A separate investigation was then launched by the Insolvency Service.

According to its report, Easyleads had made around 16 million automated marketing calls to members of the public, generating more than 550 complaints. Some of these complaints related to calls received in the early hours of the morning and on multiple occasions.

The Insolvency Service took further action in banning the director for a period of six years, during which time he cannot directly or indirectly become involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Andy Curry, of ICO, said: “Easyleads plagued people with calls and we brought them to account by fining them £260,000. When they failed to pay, we refused to give up.

“Now Shaun Harkin has been put out of action for six years. We still have work to do but this ban sends a message to others that they will not get away with making nuisance calls.”