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Company fined £75,000 after making 'aggressive' cold calls

A company that promises to block unwanted telephone calls has been fined £75,000 - after making "aggressive" cold calls, according to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Cold Call Elimination Ltd telephoned people to try and sell a blocking service and device that would stop nuisance calls - the same type of calls the company was making itself.

Elderly and vulnerable people complained about aggressive cold calls pressing them to sign up to a service that seemed like the free Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

One complainant said the sales person implied they were calling from the TPS, the statutory service enabling people to opt out of receiving cold calls.

Another complained that cash was taken from their account despite turning the firm down and taking action to stop the contract, the ICO said.

The firm, based in Chichester, West Sussex, was monitored by the ICO to see whether it would improve, but it continued to make the calls and ignored warnings.

Steve Eckersley, the ICO's head of enforcement, said: "This company clearly knew the law, but continued to break it by calling people on the TPS.

"It's clear some of the people called by this company were very distressed by the calls and as some of the people receiving the calls were elderly or vulnerable this was an aggravating factor.

"This monetary penalty has been issued to make sure that Cold Call Elimination realise that it is unacceptable to operate in this way."

In two years, 382 complaints have been received by the ICO and the TPS from people registered on the TPS. Cold Call Elimination Ltd was unavailable for immediate comment.

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