Glasgow director banned over 63m unsolicited cold calls

Glasgow director banned over 63m unsolicited cold calls

May 15, 2024

The director of a Glasgow based cold-call company which made 1.6m calls a day hounding customers has been banned from being a director

Duncan Paul was joint director of CRDNN Limited which made over 63 million cold calls within a four-month period attempting to sell boilers, double glazing and debt management services to customers.

As well as selling the products, call centre operators falsely claimed that CRDNN worked with UK and Scottish energy saving schemes.

CRDNN Limited was fined a maximum penalty of £500,000 by the Information Commission’s Office (ICO) following an investigation and shortly after went bust owing the full amount.

Duncan Paul and Stephen Foote were joint directors of CRDNN, which was liquidated in 2021. Paul was banned for eight years on 2 May 2024, while Foote had been banned for eight years back in January 2023.

The company had breached regulations 19 and 24 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003.

There were 3,000 complaints to the ICO between June and October 2018 and a further 411 complaints were sent in through the Telephone Preference Service.

There were so many calls to a Network Rail control centre near Fort William in Scotland that the lines were clogged, causing safety issues.

Trevor Callaghan, the ICO’s director of enforcement and investigations, said: ‘The directors of CRDNN knowingly operated their business with a complete disregard for not only the law but also public safety.

‘They harassed millions of people, causing disruption, annoyance and distress and recklessly affected important services potentially putting the wider public in danger. That’s why their conduct called for the maximum fine possible under the law.

‘Disrupting the activities of these rogue companies and their directors ensures they can’t easily resurface under a different name and continue to cause further harm to people.’

Mike Smith, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Duncan Paul’s company plagued homes and businesses with nuisance cold calls, disrupting the lives of millions of people.

‘The calls were persistent, totally unsolicited, and to add to people’s frustration, they received further calls when they attempted to opt-out of receiving them.’

Paul has been the director of seven companies, and is still in charge of one, DP HR International, according to Companies House although he will have to resign as a result of the new ban. He was appointed as director of DP HR International on 2 March 2020, while CRDNN and himself were under investigation from the ICO. The other six, including CRDNN, are either dissolved or Paul has resigned from.

Two of the companies were umbrella agencies offering payroll services to recruitment firms. Just Recruit and Apollo Creed are still operating with different directors, and their micro accounts showed that both businesses had significant bank loans in 2020 of around £50,000, with Paul only resigning from Apollo Creed on 7 May 2024.