July 24, 2017
A credit company responsible for sending nearly one million nuisance texts in six months has been fined £80,000 by the ICO.
Provident Personal Credit Ltd, based in Bradford, employed third party affiliate companies to send 999,057 unsolicited text messages on its behalf to promote personal loans for its brand Satsuma Loans. This was in breach of Regulation 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, as the recipients had not consented to receive such messages from Provident.
An ICO investigation was sparked following 285 complaints to the spam reporting service between 6 April and 13 October 2015. The ICO found that one of Provident’s affiliates had sent 868,393 unsolicited texts while another had sent 130,664. The ICO believes that the full scale of the contravention was significantly higher as it is likely that other affiliates sent out many more.
ICO Head of Enforcement Steve Eckersley said: “The law is clear. You can’t send marketing texts to people who have not signed up to receive them. Being bombarded with texts you didn’t ask for and don’t want is an intrusion into people’s privacy, an irritation and, in the worst cases can be upsetting. Companies have no excuse whatsoever for sending nuisance texts, whether they do it themselves or employ someone else to do it for them.” To read the ICO’s press release and for a link to the monetary penalty notice, click here.