Chichester call-blocking firm's director banned for nuisance calls

A woman whose firm made hundreds of nuisance calls to people '“ in a bid to sell them its own call-blocking device '“ has been banned for six years.

Retail news
Retail news

Leah Masters, 34, was the sole director of Cold Call Elimination Ltd in Northgate, Chichester.

The company made at least 382 unsolicited marketing calls to people who were registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the government’s Insolvency Service said.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

Since 2013, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has received scores of complaints from ‘upset and distressed’ TPS subscribers about the calls.

After it was found to have breached the rules under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, the ICO issued a £75,000 fine in September 2015.

The firm failed to pay, and in December 2016 it was wound up.

Now its director Leah Masters has been disqualified.

David Brooks, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “This is a serious case where the actions of the director and the company have caused distress to members of the public in contravention of UK and EC regulations.

“This ban reflects the seriousness of these actions and the robust stance that the Insolvency Service will take against those whose conduct falls below accepted commercial standards.”

In January 2014, Cold Call Elimination Ltd told the ICO it had purchased the data it used to make the calls from a third party and hadn’t checked the numbers against the TPS.

Andy Curry, enforcement group manager at the ICO, said: “The people behind nuisance calls cause upset and distress and we’re in the business of cracking down on them.

“We will pursue all options in the event of unpaid fines, and work closely with other regulators such as the Insolvency Service and Claims Management Regulator.

“The disqualification of a director behind a nuisance call firm is another welcome step in the fight.”