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Nuisance call bosses ‘should be personally liable for fines’

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
The government should follow through with its proposals to hold directors of companies which plague households with nuisance calls to account, a consumer group has said.

Enforcement action can only be taken against the company itself, rather than the company directors.

This has meant that some nuisance call firms have dodged big penalties by declaring bankruptcy, only to open again under a different name.

But government proposals published in May seek to provide the Information Commissioner’s Office with powers to hold nuisance call company directors directly responsible for fines of up to £500,000.

With the consultation on the proposals closing today, campaign group Which? urges the government to follow through with these measures, and not let bosses off the hook.

It comes as Which? research revealed that the scale of nuisance calling continues to be a big problem in the UK, with 73% of people believing they’ve received an unsolicited marketing or sales call in the past month.

And eight in 10 people of the 2,093 polled, said the calls were an intrusive interruption to their daily life. Two in five surveyed said they felt intimidated while a similar number said the unsolicited calls left them distressed.

For 77%, they said they were discouraged from picking up phone calls from unknown numbers altogether – potentially missing out on important calls from family or other legitimate sources.

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home products and services, said: “It’s time to stem the tide of this daily torment and properly hold to account company directors who are responsible for flouting the law. We must stop them from bombarding households with nuisance calls.

“The government must seize this opportunity and act swiftly to deliver on its promise to stamp out dodgy practices and make sure those responsible for making nuisance calls can no longer evade justice and skip fines.”

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