Cold calling firm 'hounded' customers with NINE MILLION nuisance calls

A cold calling company which ‘hounded’ customers with 8.8million nuisance PPI calls in just nine months has been fined £300,000. 

Government watchdog the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) fined Holmes Financial Solutions for making the calls between 22 October 2015 and 27 July 2016.

Robert Carson, 36, Mark Foley, 35, and 33-year-old Mark Jones are named online as being the directors of the firm, based in Speke, Liverpool. 

The ICO said those calls contained recorded messages ‘primarily promoting PPI compensation claims’.

Robert Carson

Mark Foley

Robert Carson, (left) Mark Foley (right) and 33-year-old Mark Jones are named online as being the directors of the firm

Holmes Financial Solutions did not have the recipients’ consent to send direct marketing, which is against the law.

The ICO says the firm also broke the law by failing to identify who was making the calls and said: ‘It used so-called ‘added value’ numbers that generate revenue when an individual calls the number.’

The watchdog received dozens of complaints about Holmes’ calls.

Some people said they were called multiple times, while others said they were unable to opt out of receiving the calls.

One caller said: ‘I’m being hounded continually by this company.’

Another told the ICO: ‘This has been going on for months, if not years.

It causes me anxiety feeling targeted.’

And another said: ‘It is always a little worrying when you get an unexpected call from a number you don’t recognize. One tends to think something has happened to a friend or family member.’

The ICO said: ‘The contravention could have been far higher since it is known that the company instigated over 26.6 million automated calls.’

Its head of enforcement, Steve Eckersley, said: ‘The company paid no heed to laws on telephone marketing and showed no concern for the distress they were causing people by making huge volumes of invasive calls.

‘The ICO will not tolerate companies who blatantly disregard the law and Holmes Financial Solutions Ltd has paid the price for their negligence.

Holmes Financial Solutions, based in Speke, Liverpool (pictured), hounded' customers with 8.8million nuisance PPI calls in just nine months

Holmes Financial Solutions, based in Speke, Liverpool (pictured), hounded’ customers with 8.8million nuisance PPI calls in just nine months

‘I welcome the Government’s plans to introduce personal liability for directors who think they are above the law, and hope to see them introduced as soon as possible, to support our work to stop such rogue traders operating.’

Holmes Financial Solutions’ website features a logo of a silhouette of Sherlock Holmes.

The website says: ‘You can count on Holmes to give you the right advice if you are struggling to pay your debts.

We pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of all the available solutions and our exemplary customer service.’

Holmes Financial Solutions told MailOnline: ‘The fine is subject to an appeal that our solicitors are currently dealing with.’ 

It comes after Barrington Claims Limited, previously based in Llanelli but now registered in Port Talbot, was fined £250,000 for making more than 15million automated calls.

And slot88 London-based NewDay Limited must pay £230,000 for sending more than 44million spam emails, the ICO said.

Meanwhile, Goody Market UK Limited, in Liverpool, has been fined £40,000 for sending 111,367 spam texts and Macclesfield-based TFLI Limited has been fined £80,000 for sending 1.19 million nuisance texts. 

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