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UK credit broker fined £120k for spamming folk with five million texts

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Maybe the affiliates should also have been whacked.

JimC Silver badge

Trouble is the affiliates didn't send the texts.

I wonder if there's a fine judgement in setting the fine level so its high enough to hurt, but low enough that the lowlives won't immediately go into receivership?

Ledswinger Silver badge

so its high enough to hurt, but low enough that the lowlives won't immediately go into receivership?

Nope. Buying an off the shelf company is cheap enough circa £50, and that's the marginal cost for the bottom feeders. The forces of government could follow up "wilful insolvencies" through the Insolvency Service and the courts, and bring them to book, get them struck off as directors, but its slow and ineffective.

The only real recourse is to prevent directors and shareholders hiding behind limited liability in this way. Government could have closed this loophole years ago, but they're too sluggish and idle. Limited liability is a hugely important concept, and should be protected and encouraged, but at the moment government simply let the status be abused.


£120,000 fine is all very well, but.......

....have their testicles been removed?

djstardust Silver badge

They will go bust in ......

3...... 2....... 1....... to avoid paying the fine then mysteriously reappear next week under a new name.



Re: They will go bust in ......

...with the wife, brother in law, or cousin, etc. as the new company director.

Geoff May (no relation)

"hefty price"

Someone has a strange definition of hefty price ...

Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

Re: "hefty price"

2.4 pence per text.


Not enough.

Nowhere near enough, 2p each is cheaper than buying legit contact data. There needs to be a compensation element to these judgements, even if it's only 20GBP per victim.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Hefty Price

Just take a realistic valuation of the company and fine them 1/5 of that.

PNGuinn Silver badge

Re: Hefty Price

Make that at least 10/5, ac and I'll agree. And make the directors PERSONALLY responsible.

Or just publicly hang the scumbags.

Loud Speaker Bronze badge

Re: Hefty Price

When I became a director of a company in the 1970's, I was told (by my accountants - probably a slimy bunch, but still) that if a company breaks the law, then it loses its incorporate status, since the contract permitting incorporation is broken, and the directors are personally liable for the crimes. Whether or not that was the case, it certainly should be.

And the directors should be jointly and severally responsible - ie if a crime is committed, they ALL get the full punishment. There should be no punishment of companies - all fines, etc should ALWAYS fall on the directors.

Other than nuking from high orbit, its he only way to be sure. (In the case of spam, nuking from high orbit is an acceptable alternative.

They should be fined the price of an Iphone 7, each, per spam. (And life imprisonment with hard labour).

Rol Silver badge

Crowd Fund

I honestly believe that a contract killer could raise far more than £120,000 if they pledged to kill the entire board of directors.

In fact if everyone who wished that to happen pledged just £1, the fund would cover the extermination of every rogue company for the next couple of decades.

Now that's what I call taking back control.

Winkypop Silver badge


Anyone know where they can get a loan?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Give them a "three strikes and you're out" - with the "out" being striking off the company and it's officers, and compulsory winding up of the company, and with the company plus those on whose behalf it sent the offending texts being jointly liable for compensation to the unwilling recipients. And apply the same to direct mail companies using the post.

Oh and come up with standard "opt in" language: "I agree to receive marketing texts from .....", and ensure customers do not have to pay anything for sending that or sending opt-outs, with separate opt-in using different language for anything that might involve a cost. Per promoter, not per sending company/agency.

Andy Livingstone

Snide Comment from Spokesman

For those words alone the fine should at the very least be doubled.

Warm Braw Silver badge

Re: Snide Comment from Spokesman

Indeed. The claim "having conducted appropriate due diligence" is demonstrably false as the ICO has determined their "diligence" was not appropriate at all.

The fine does, though, seem to represent more than 25% of their net assets.

Tellingly, they're classified at Companies House under "advertising agencies" though on their website they define themselves as a "fintech skunkworks". That's probably all anyone needs to know...

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Clearly Digitonomy are spamming scumbags

When their spokesman says, "We are sorry that a reported 0.03 per cent of recipients found the SMS marketing messages from our appointed affiliate management company last year unwelcome...", they are basically saying, "a small number of cry babies complained, so we don't think we've done anything wrong."

Herein lies the problem. It's highly likely that an exponentially larger number of people didn't complain, but were still pissed about receiving these spam texts? This kind of thinly veiled 'F-you' dressed up as a pseudo-apology just shows that they are indeed scumbags.

CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

Due diligence..

.. probably consisted of the following:

Spamming Scum: "Oi Bert - that list of numbers you sold us - it's OK to send them mass unsolicited txt messages?"

Dodgy number vendor: "Yeah, yeah. They all signed up. Honest"

Spamming Scum: "That's OK then. Ta."


So Steve Eckersley says that "Depending on the word of another company is simply not acceptable and is not an excuse." Yet in a recent Assessment that I submitted to the ICO, the case officer was of the view that the UK company that had obtained consent from a non-UK company had obtained consent. Another example that demonstrates that the ICO's case officers are clueless.

Actually, consent only satisfies a condition for processing. Data controllers also have to satisfy the first principle so they should provide you with a fair processing notice before contacting you.

Read my latest article.

Stevie Silver badge


"“We are sorry that a reported 0.03 per cent of recipients found the SMS marketing messages from our appointed affiliate management company last year unwelcome enough to complain to the proper authorities, despite us having conducted appropriate due diligence before they proceeded with their marketing. We remain determined to operate at all times within both the spirit and the letter of the law and best practice.”"

Fixed it for you, you spamming bastards.

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