Last week, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) handed Glasgow-based Home Energy & Lifestyle Management Ltd (Helms) a record-breaking £200,000 fine for making six million unwanted telemarketing calls, in violation of UK Do Not Call laws, regarding the giveaway of solar panels. The company was originally investigated after 242 consumer complaints were reported in a two month window.
Under these charges, the ICO is claiming that the Solar Panel company failed to adequately manage the activities of third party telemarketers placing calls on their behalf. The ICO claimed an organization cannot claim ignorance of the law and blame a hired third party for actions taken on your behalf. Similarly in the US, the FTC and the FCC have been clear that companies are liable for the actions of their third party marketers. The largest US Do Not Call fine in the US to date was the result of DirecTV and the actions of its independent agents selling its services.
In addition to the IDO in the UK, in the US, the FTC and the FCC continue to crack down on telemarketers to ensure they adhere to the National Do-Not-Call Registry, as well as restrict their telephone solicitations and their use of auto-dialers. This should serve as yet another reminder that as a company, it is critical to ensure you’re communicating with customers and prospects both effectively and compliantly.