Here's what happens if you keep sending emails to people after they've pressed that pesky "unsubscribe" button: insurance comparison giant Moneysupermarket has been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after it kept sending emails to people who had opted out of direct marketing.
The company sent 7.1m emails over the course of 10 days in December last year updating customers over its terms and conditions, even though they had opted out of receiving emails.
The company's emails suggested it knew people had already opted out, even though asking people to consent to future marketing messages when they've already unsubscribed is against the law. The emails stated:
We hold an e-mail address for you which means we could be sending you personalised news, products and promot¡ons. You've told us in the past you prefer not to receive these. If you'd like to reconsider, simply click the following link to start receiving our e-mails.
“Organisations can’t get around the law by sending direct marketing dressed up as legitimate updates," said Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO.
“When people opt out of direct marketing, organisations must stop sending it, no questions asked, until such time as the consumer gives their consent. They don’t get a chance to persuade people to change their minds.”
Shares in Moneysupermarket were down 2.7 per cent at 341p this morning, although that is more likely to be because of disappointing results it posted yesterday, which showed revenues had fallen 33 per cent to £16.9m in the first half of the year.
A spokesperson for the company said: “At Moneysupermarket, we take the protection of our customers’ data and privacy very seriously. We apologise unreservedly to the customers affected by this isolated incident and we have put measures in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”