Advice Direct Ltd: 'Abusive' nuisance call company fined £20,000

A company which pestered people with "abusive" nuisance calls has been fined £20,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

The ICO said it received scores of complaints about Advice Direct Ltd, including "false and misleading statements" made to householders.

The Lancashire firm claimed to help people seek compensation for hearing loss caused by workplace noise.

No-one from the Blackburn-based company was available for comment.

ICO received complaints from people who received multiple calls from Advice Direct - which traded as National Workers Office - on the same day and that "some of the callers were abusive or threatening".

'False impression'

ICO Enforcement Manager Andy Curry said: "People told us false and misleading statements were made about records held by the company which indicated that household members had worked in a noisy environment.

"Some of the callers also appeared to have given the false impression that the company was offering a government-backed scheme."

One person who complained said: "According to the caller they had a record that someone in my household had worked in a noisy industry and would be eligible for compensation.

"This is absolute nonsense, I am an 87-year-old single retired solicitor and I have lived alone... at the same address for the last 43 years."

Fifty-seven people complained the company ignored their requests to stop calling them even after it was pointed they had registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to prevent unsolicited calls.

ICO said the firm never responded to a single complaint from the 160 referred to it by TPS.

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