Complaints about a company which sent text messages about payment protection insurance and compensation for accidents are upheld by the Advertising Standards Authority.
One text from claims management company, Data Supplier, based in India said: "We have been trying to contact you regarding your PPI Claim, we now have details of how much you are due, just reply CONFIRM and we will call you back".
The second text stated: "Our records indicate you may be entitled to £3750 for the accident you had. To claim for free just reply CLAIM to this msg. To stop text STOP".
Three complainants, two of whom received the first text and one who received the second, challenged whether they were misleading and could be substantiated, because they had not recently had an accident or did not believe that they were eligible to reclaim PPI payments, and suggested that the texts breached the advertising code because they were unsolicited.
The ASA said Data Supplier, based in Mumbai, did not respond to its enquiries and it was concerned by its lack of response and apparent disregard for the code.
It said: "We reminded them of their responsibility to provide a substantive response to our enquiries and told them to do so in future.
"We noted that we had not seen any evidence to show that the recipients of the texts had given their explicit consent to be included on the Data Supplier's database.
"We also understood that none of the recipients had recently had accidents or considered themselves to be eligible to make a PPI claim, and that the texts did not identify who the message had been sent from.
"For those reasons we concluded that the texts were unsolicited and misleading, and were therefore in breach of the code."
Explict permission needed
It added: "The texts must not be sent again in their current form. We told Data Supplier not to send texts to consumers unless they had their explicit permission to do so.
"We also told them not to make claims in their advertising unless they could provide evidence to substantiate them, and to identify themselves as the advertiser in any future texts."
20 April 2011