Telecommunications Boss Banned for Breaching Regulations

Altrincham telecommunications boss has been banned from running companies for seven years after causing the company to breach regulations that protected the public

Advanced VOIP Solutions Ltd was incorporated in March 2013, with Altrincham-based Charlotte McKeever (41) appointed as a director of the company two years later in April 2015

Advanced VOIP Solutions facilitated marketing calls to members of the public by supplying telephone numbers and a call-back service to marketing companies. The call-back service, in particular, allowed people, once they received a marketing call, to either request further information or opt-out of further marketing calls.

However, contrary to telecommunication regulations, members of the public were charged for the use of this call-back service

Between November 2014 and April 2016, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) received a substantial amount of complaints concerning calls facilitated by Advanced VOIP Solutions.

People complained that they had received unsolicited direct marketing calls which had caused them distress. Advanced VOIP Solutions records show that many had also been charged for calling back to opt-out of receiving further information.

Further investigations of the company’s accounting records, by the Insolvency Service, showed that between May and June 2015 at least 1.3 million calls were made.

The ICO found that Advanced VOIP Solutions was in breach of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations and fined the company £180,000.

Advanced VOIP Solutions entered into Creditors Voluntary liquidation in 2016. The liquidators appointed to wind-up the company reported the breaches of the regulations to the Insolvency Service and stated that the fine imposed by the regulators remained unpaid at the date of the liquidation.

Due to the distress caused to the members of the public receiving unwanted calls, the Insolvency Service began directorship disqualification proceedings against Charlotte McKeever.

On 3 September 2019, the Secretary of State accepted a seven-year disqualification undertaking from Charlotte McKeever, after she did not dispute that she had caused Advanced VOIP Solutions to breach the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.

Effective from 24 September 2019, Charlotte McKeever cannot, without the permission of the court, be involved in the formation, promotion or management of a company, directly or indirectly.

Claire Entwistle, Assistant Director of Operations from the Insolvency Service said:

The communications regulations are there to protect people from receiving unsolicited calls, but Charlotte McKeever showed scant regard towards the rules, causing distress to a significant amount of people. This disqualification will prevent her from acting in a similar way in the future.
Directors of companies in the telecommunications sector should take note that if you fail to comply with regulations, the Insolvency Service will investigate and you could lose the protection of limited liability.

Notes to Editors

Charlotte McKeever is of Altrincham, Greater Manchester, and her date of birth is January 1978.

Advanced VOIP Solutions Ltd (Company no. 08440874).

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of restrictions.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct.