North Cornwall’s MP Dan Rogerson has said a decision to make it easier to fine firms responsible for nuisance calls would be welcomed by people who are dogged with unwanted telephone calls on a daily basis.
The Coalition Government will change the law to make it easier to fine firms up to £500,000 for nuisance calls and text messages.
The idea was one of the recommendations put forward last year by the Government’s Nuisance Calls Task Force. The Task Force, run by consumer rights organisation Which?, took evidence about the scale of problem - including the results of a survey run by Dan Rogerson about nuisance calls in our area.
Hundreds of residents from across North Cornwall responded to Mr Rogerson’s nuisance calls survey last summer. Most people reported receiving between 2 and 5 nuisance calls a day, although some said they got up to 20 calls and text messages most days. 95% of people responding said that they had been called by a company or organisation that they do not recall giving their information or consent to.
The Government is set to change the law in a matter of weeks – it will mean that it will be easier for the industry regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office, to fine responsible companies up to half a million pounds as they will no longer have to prove that messages are causing a “substantial damage or distress” before taking action.
Commenting, Dan Rogerson MP said:
“People are fed up of being pestered by unwanted marketing calls, silent and abandoned calls, spam texts and recorded messages day in and day out. For some people these calls are a nuisance, but for vulnerable residents they can be a menace that put people at risk of scams and fraud just as much as a crook or a pushy salesman turning up at their door.
“Despite hundreds of thousands of complaints about nuisance calls last year, many companies have not been prosecuted under the current laws as the calls are not deemed to be harmful enough for those responsible to be fined. Today’s decision means that it will be easier for nuisance callers to be punished and fined up to £500,000.
“Thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign to crack down on nuisance calls – I hope these tough new laws will see more companies punished and will reduce the number of nuisance calls people in our area are receiving.”