War against spam!

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A WIGAN firm has started a fightback against spam callers by winning a landmark court case.

Bosses at Brentaski - a Winstanley based ski holiday company - were so fed up with nuisance calls they decided to turn the tables on the spammers and invoice them.

We were being plagued by a relentless stream of spam phone calls. It got to a stage where we were getting numerous complaints from clients who could not get through by phone, as our lines were being jammed with these spam calls

Wayne Naylor

And having represented themselves in a subsequent county court case, the company has been awarded damages in a verdict that could set a precedent.

Ski instructor Wayne Naylor told the Evening Post: “We were being plagued by a relentless stream of spam phone calls. It got to a stage where we were getting numerous complaints from clients who could not get through by phone, as our lines were being jammed with these spam calls.

“We decided that as it was costing us money for staff, office equipment and so forth to answer the calls we would invoice the spammers £60 for each call they made to us.

“Of course they refused to pay, so we had no choice but to go to court and ask a judge to decide if our fees should be paid.”

Brentaski’s success comes as consumer watchdog Which? has warned about the increasing numbers of nuisance calls being made to personal mobile phones.

Findings from a recent survey of more than 2,000 people indicated that nuisance calls to mobile phones are on the rise - with seven in 10 (72 per cent) people saying they had at least one such call to their mobile in the last month compared to more than half (55 per cent) in 2013.

The watchdog has urged residents to register their number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) which helps people stop unwanted calls.

And Mr Naylor has his own advice for business owners who are plagued by similar calls.

He said: “We discovered was that making these phone calls is totally illegal which means that directors of the spamming companies were also equally personally as liable to pay us as the company.

“And in every single case the spammer initially denied making any calls to us, so recording your calls is vital. As an example, in one of our recent cases against a spammer trying to sell a Pay Protection Insurance (PPI) refund service they simply lied to the court and denied making any calls to us. Without the recordings it would have been impossible to prove otherwise”.

The Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd, added: “With the number of nuisance calls to mobile phones on the rise, it’s vital people register their phone if they want to help protect themselves from this everyday menace.

“The Government, regulators and business need to continue to work together to tackle nuisance calls, with further action to cut them off at source and make senior executives accountable if their company is caught flouting the rules.”