UK: ICO fines House Hold Appliances 247 £55,000 for unsolicited direct marketing
On September 20, 2023, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) announced that it had issued an enforcement notice and monetary penalty notice to House Hold Appliances 247 Limited in which it fined the company £55,000 for violation of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (PECR), following complaints by individuals.
Background to the decision
In particular, the ICO highlighted that it received two complaints that House Hold Appliances 247 had made several unsolicited calls to individuals registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).
Findings of the ICO
Following its investigation, the ICO determined that between June 1, 2021, and November 30, 2021, House Hold Appliances 247 made 19,069 calls, in violation of Regulation 21(1)(b) of the PECR for making unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes to subscribers where the number allocated to the subscriber in respect of the called line was a number kept by the ICO. The ICO also found that the 19,069 calls were made to subscribers registered with the TPS at least 28 days prior to receiving the call and who had not notified House Hold Appliances 247 that they did not object to receiving such calls, in violation of Regulation 21(4) of the PECR.
In light of the above, the ICO imposed a fine of £55,000 on House Hold Appliances 247. However, the ICO noted that if it received full payment of the monetary penalty by September 3, 2023, it would reduce the monetary penalty by 20% to £44,000, unless House Hold Appliances 247 decided to exercise its right of appeal.
In addition, the ICO directed House Hold Appliances 247, within 30 days of the enforcement notice, to neither use nor instigate the use of, public electronic communication services for the purposes of making unsolicited calls for direct marketing purposes where the called line is a subscriber who has:
- previously notified House Hold Appliances 247 that such calls should not be made; or
- a subscriber who has registered their number with the TPS at least 28 days previously and who has not notified House Hold Appliances 247 that they do not object to such calls.