Claims Management Companies are the ones that make most of the cold calls – on behalf of their clients.
The Claims Management Regulator (part of the Ministry of Justice) licenses firms and individuals to provide claims management services. It also has the power to take action when a regulated claims management business breaks the Conduct of Authorised Persons Rules.
The CMR received hundreds of complaints from recipients of calls from “The Hearing Clinic” about claims for noise induced hearing loss. Many complainants had previously subscribed to the “do not call” Telephone Preference Service, so the calls breached the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.
Having investigated, the Regulator imposed a £220,000 fine on Aurangzeb Iqbal, the owner of “The Hearing Clinic” and various other businesses including “Industrial Disease Services,” “Hedging Redress,” and “We Claim 4 U.”
Various conditions were also imposed which applied to all claims management services operated under Mr Iqbal’s Regulator licence.
These included having to inform the Regulator on the 5th of every month of each TPS complaint received over the previous month. Mr Iqbal also has to provide the Regulator with full details of all subcontractors he proposes to appoint, plus an explanation and evidence of how he proposes to monitor these suppliers to ensure their compliance.
In its press release, the Regulator reported that from a peak of 3367 in 2011 the number of claims management companies has now fallen to 1752, with 105 having their licences removed in 2014. Further investigations by the Regulator are apparently ongoing and could lead to more sanctions.
Richard Lloyd, from consumer watchdog Which? said: “Hopefully this is the start of a concerted crackdown by Regulators, using their new powers to send a clear message that nuisance calling won’t be tolerated. This company made millions of unwanted calls so we welcome the Claims Management Regulator baring its teeth.
“The size of this fine should make other firms think twice before bombarding people with cold calls. We also need to see senior executives held personally accountable if their company makes unlawful sales calls.”
To complain to the Regulator, go to https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/claims-management-regulator
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