Discount landline operator Yourtel has been fined €5,000 for unwanted marketing calls targeting Eir customers to tempt them to switch. It is the latest firm to be successfully prosecuted at Dublin District Court by the office of the Data Protection Commissioner. The case was brought after the watchdog received complaints from people about Yourtel repeatedly cold calling them against their wishes.
Judge John O’Neill noted their plea of guilty but said Yourtel had been given a warning previously and he recorded a conviction against the multinational company which has been operating in Ireland since mid-2013. He said the fines have to be paid within three months and the court also heard Yourtel has agreed to pay prosecution costs.
Yourtel pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to two counts of breaching section 13 of the EC Electronic Communications Networks and Services Privacy and Electronic Communications regulations 2011. Four other charges were withdrawn by the prosecution.
The calls were made to customers of Eir, formerly Eircom. Assistant data protection commissioner Tony Delaney told Ronan Kennedy BL, prosecuting, his office got a complaint from the son of an elderly couple who had received unwanted marketing calls from Yourtel.
During one call the son spoke to the telesales worker who was encouraging a switch from Eircom to Yourtel. The call lasted 25 minutes in which the man explained his parents were not interested in changing. Mr Delaney said this was a “critical point” and he “was opting out at that stage”. However, the family got two more calls.
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