1. ITV Report

Firm fined for making 16 million automated calls

More than 550 complaints were made about calls from Easyleads Limited Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

A marketing firm behind more than 16 million automated calls about boiler grants has been fined £260,000.

More than 550 complaints were made to the ICO about the calls. Recipients reported receiving multiple messages or calls in the early hours of the morning over the May 2017 bank holiday weekend.

In a statement confirming the fine, the ICO said Easyleads ltd did not have specific consent from people that it made automated calls to.

The firm also broke rules by not including a company name and contact details in the recorded message.

complains were made to the ICO about calls from Easyleads ltd

ICO investigators said the firm had deliberately misled people by referring to a government scheme and the offer of a free boiler.

Andy Curry, ICO enforcement group manager, said:

We hear first-hand from people how utterly disruptive, annoying and sometimes distressing automated calls can be.

Firms cannot expect to get away with intruding into people's lives like this.

– ICO, Andy Curry

Following the ICO's investigation, Companies House posted plans for Easyleads Ltd to be struck off and dissolved.

The ICO said it was committed to recovering fines issued and would work with insolvency practitioners and liquidators if a company moves to insolvency after being fined.

Powers granted to the ICO under the Data Protection Act were used to fine the firm, which, according to documents lodged with Companies House, is based at an address in Birchfield Road, Coundon.

The official penalty notice issued to the firm stated that it had breached EU-wide regulations protecting individuals' fundamental right to privacy in the electronic communications sector.

The financial penalty handed to Coventry-based Easyleads Limited brings the penalties handed out in the last week by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to companies behind illegal recorded messages to £610,000.