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Company fined record £200,000 for nuisance phone calls


A firm selling solar panels have been given a record fine from the Information Commissioner for making nuisance calls after new rules were introduced earlier this year.

Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd has received a £200,000 fine after more than six million automated calls were made on their behalf. Complaints from customers claimed that they were powerless to stop calls and many people had their answer machines filled up by the company.

The company has laid the blame on another firm that it hired to make calls and will appeal against the decision.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) advised that the company would phone millions of people with automated phone calls and offer “free” solar panels. The ICO claimed that Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd is required to have permission from people before they make the automated phone calls. The company claims that at the time of calling they were unaware of the rules. The company was also mis-leading customers as the solar panels they were offering were not actually free.

Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said:
"The bottom line is companies trying to sell a product have got to stick to the rules. Nuisance phone calls are a modern pest.

"People expect the Information Commissioner and other agencies to close this down and we're now closing down on these phone pests."

A statement from Home Energy & Lifestyle Management’s Lawyer said:

"Helms had significant difficulty in fully co-operating with the ICO, owing to the failure of the third party company to give any information to verify and explain the extent of the calls made."

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