A will-writing company which accuses traditional law firms of ‘failing the bereaved’ has been fined £30,000 for making nuisance calls. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) imposed the penalty against Assist Law, based in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.
The business was found to have made unsolicited marketing calls to people registered with the telephone preference service for more than a year. This resulted in almost 100 complaints from TPS subscribers leading to an ICO investigation.
Assist Law was said to have made calls using information from a third party company, which claimed people on its calling list had consented to being telephoned. This was not the case.
Andy Curry, ICO enforcement manager, said the company had failed to take the basic steps required by law, despite repeated warnings. ‘They should have asked for evidence of consent and screened against the TPS list to check whether people had chosen not to receive marketing calls,’ said Curry.
‘They relied on a separate company to do this which wasn’t good enough. Any company that instigates a marketing campaign is responsible for taking these steps.’
The ICO reiterated it is against the law for companies making marketing calls to call people registered on the TPS.
Assist Law, whose services include wills, funeral planning, lasting powers of attorney and inheritance tax planning, is not regulated by the SRA or any other legal services regulator.
In its mission statement, it says traditional methods used to deliver legal services are ‘too expensive, outdated and cumbersome’. Its website states: ‘You can count on us to put you first and strive to provide the very best customer experience we can.’