Christopher Niebel and Gary McNeish were one of a few people that set out with an objective of nothing but to line their own pockets with gold. Between them they had set up a company called Tetrus Telecoms, which used unregistered sim cards to send out unsolicited texts offering compensation and payouts for accidents or miss sold loans.
Over 800,000 texts were being sent per day and the personal details of people who replied were then sold to the claims management companies who paid them up to £8000 per day.
They did not reveal the sender details when they sent out text such as “CLAIM TODAY you may be entitled to £3,500 for the accident you had. To claim free, reply CLAIM to this message. To opt out text STOP. Thank you”.
Christopher Graham, the Information Commissioner used the change in the law earlier on this year for the first time to track down and penalise the perpetrators. He understands that people get annoyed by rogue advertising and has his sights set on another 3 firms guilty of such practices.
Niebel, whose Manchester office was raided in February, sent the illicit texts from offices in Stockport and Birmingham was ordered to pay £300,000 pounds in fines. McNeish who lives in Thailand was ordered to pay £140,000 for what was deemed a lesser involvement in the operation.
Here at Russell Worth Solicitors, we have never participated, nor would we dream of hassling people like this. Our business is set in good foundations through a good reputation what we have built since 1997 when we were first established. We find that word of mouth along with some conventional advertising to get us seen on a national level is enough for us.
The kind of greed shown by owners of companies such as Tetrus is unfortunately something we hear of quite a lot but we would just like to take this opportunity to let you know that while we are an adventurous business, we would never take part in any such business practice.
If you have been affected by or would like to report any such practices, please let us know in the comments box below.