Fines for the BBC's 'real-life David Brent' over nuisance calls – Daily TV round-up

The Call Centre's 'Big Nev' Wilshire is ordered to pay £225,000.

The boss in BBC3 fly-on-the-wall documentary 'The Call Centre', the larger-than-life 'Big Nev' Wilshire, has seen his company hit with a massive fine for nuisance calls.

The various names that his company trades under, including National Energy Services and We Claim You Gain, will have to pay £225,000 after the fine was handed down from the Information Commissioners Office.

Staff working for Wilshire cold-call homes hoping to find people who were mis-sold payment protection insurance, and also promoting government energy saving schemes.

But it was found that the companies were targeting people who had registered to have their names removed from lists used by marketing companies with the Telephone Protection Service.

Around 2,700 complaints were made by people who had been called wrongly.

We Claim You Gain was dealt a £100,000 fine for nuisance calls, while Nationwide Energy Services was fined £125,000.

“The public have told us that they are fed up with the constant bombardment of nuisance calls,” ICO director of operations Simon Entwisle told the Daily Mail.

“While the activities of Nev and his call centre employees have provided entertainment for many, they hide a bigger problem within the cold calling industry.

“People have the legal right not to receive marketing calls and these companies have paid the price for failing to respect people’s wishes.”

The series, which has been a hit on BBC3, shows Nev's unusual management style, which often requires staff members to sing and dance in the office, and wear fancy dress and play zany games.

He's been called the real-life David Brent for his on-screen antics.

Wilshire's firm said in a statement: “Neither NES nor WCUG accept that issuing monetary penalty notices is the appropriate course of action. Both have made the necessary representations to the ICO and will be issuing a formal appeal shortly.”

The BBC added: “The Call Centre, like all BBC programmes, went through robust editorial processes and compliance and we are confident that the programme is a balanced and fair representation of life in that place of work.” [Daily Mail]

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