Hold company directors responsible for their nuisance calls

As recent research finds eight in ten people are still receiving nuisance calls, Which? ​​is calling for company directors to be held personally to account.

The issue of nuisance calls remains prominent in the UK with eight in 10 (81%) confirming to having received at least one nuisance call in May this year. Of those that received a nuisance call, four in ten (40%) said they felt intimidated.

Which? wants to see company directors personally held to account if their company is found responsible for nuisance calls – something backed by the public, with eight in ten (79%) people agreeing that a move to hold senior directors to account for their companies’ actions would be welcome.

Following the Which? Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign, the Government and regulators have taken action to tackle unwanted calls and texts, including the introduction of mandatory Caller Line Identification and tougher fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

However, of the 22 fines issued against companies since April 2015, only four have been paid in full. Two have been part-paid, with the remaining fines not been paid at all or the companies have gone into liquidation.

Which? is now calling on the Government to introduce director level accountability immediately to complement the ICO’s existing  powers and help end the problem of nuisance calls.

Alex Neill, Which? Director of Campaigns and Policy, said:

“Millions of people are still being pestered by nuisance calls and it’s time for tougher action that holds responsible company directors personally accountable for the unlawful actions of their companies.

“This will stop rogues stepping around the rules by closing one business and re-establishing a new one, and avoiding fines for making nuisance calls.”

Since Which? launched its Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign, more than 452,000 people have pledged their support. As part of the campaign, an online tool was launched to make it easier for consumers to report unwanted calls and texts to the relevant regulator.


  1. Research: Research Now, on behalf of Which?, surveyed 2003 UK adults online between 20th May and 26th May 2016. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of the UK population.

  2. Which? launched its Calling Time on Nuisance Calls and Texts campaign in 2013 and more than 370,000 people have pledged their support. The campaign has been able to help influence a number of new initiatives for consumers plagued by this everyday menace – most notably a Select Committee investigation in 2013 and subsequent report, a Government Action plan in 2014 and a Which? led cross-sector TaskForce on nuisance calls and consent.

  3. People can support our Calling Time on Nuisance Calls campaign or use our online tool for reporting unwanted calls here – www.which.co.uk/callingtime – Since launch more than 83,000 calls have been reported to the regulators using our tool.

  4. The Which? led Nuisance Calls Task Force recommended that Government should review the ability of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to hold to account board-level executives whose companies fail to comply with rules and guidance on the use of consumers’ personal data for marketing purposes, and amend legislation to give the ICO further powers as necessary. This would make it harder for companies to continue to flout the rules.

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