Orkney MSP Liam McArthur has accused the Scottish Government of falling short in plans to help people being bombarded by nuisance callers.
Research published by consumers rights charity Which? has found that 85% of Scots want to see the Scottish Government crackdown on nuisance calls. It also reveals that 90% of people want to see the director of a company held personally accountable and fined if the firm makes calls without the necessary permission.
In parliamentary questions to the Scottish Government, Orkney's MSP Liam McArthur asked “what its position is on extending the Scottish Business Pledge to promote business practice that demonstrates a commitment to ending such calls, and whether it has met Ofgem to discuss the issue.”
In response to Mr McArthur’s proposal to extend the Scottish Business Pledge to cover nuisance calls, the Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism said “we have no plans at this stage to extend it to do so.”
Mr McArthur’s calls coincide with the news that a Glasgow based boiler replacement company, FEP Heatcare Ltd, was today (17/03) listed as one of Britain’s most complained about nuisance callers and fined £180,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office.
Commenting, Orkney’s MSP Liam McArthur said:
“In Orkney and across Scotland people have simply had enough of nuisance calls. Such calls are often more than simply a nuisance and can lead to vulnerable people in particularly being defrauded or even left more isolated, afraid to answer their phone. They, more than anyone, need the Scottish Government to act to protect them from firms engaging in poor practices.
“The proposal I have put to Ministers to extend the Scottish Business Pledge to include nuisance calls wouldn’t bind companies by law. It would, however, at least encourage companies to operate to a higher standard and discourage intrusive nuisance calls.
"It is disappointing, therefore, that the Scottish Government does not believe such a commitment is necessary as part of 'fair and progressive business practices'. I cannot understand that position and nor, I suspect, will many of those people in Orkney who have been the victim of nuisance calls.”