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New measures introduced by Section 35 of the Financial Guidance and Claims Act 2018 (the Act) came into effect on the 8th September 2018. The aim of the Act is to put an end to cold calling by Claims Management Companies (CMCs).
It is now unlawful for CMCs to make unsolicited calls for the purposes of direct marketing in relation to claims management services.
Previously you had to positively opt out of the communications by registering with the free Telephone Preference Service or withdraw your consent from each company individually. The onus is now placed on CMCs to ensure that they have your express consent before they can market to you.
Failure to comply with the Act could result in a fine of up to £500,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Whilst the tougher provisions have been welcomed by many, it is yet to be seen how effective the Act will actually be in eradicating cold calling, particularly as there is not an outright ban on cold calling. Also, as a large proportion of cold calling activities take place outside of the EEA (meaning the companies behind the cold calling are outside of the jurisdiction of the UK and EU regulators), the ban is unlikely to deter these companies from cold calling.