Re: The language got them busted?
What has this got to do with BT? The article is about the Post Office - its been a long long time since BT was spun out of the GPO!
Royal Mail, which claims to be the most trusted letter delivery service in the UK, was today fined for sending out more than 300,000 nuisance emails. The Information Commissioner's Office said it launched a probe after an individual complained they had received a marketing email from Royal Mail, despite having opted out. …
The language got them busted?
So next time your marketingdroids want to hype up a straightforward customer communication in the usual exaggerated buzzword b******x, tell them to remember the Post Office's fine and b*****r off.
I have a very limited sympathy for the mailmen, in that they were apparently trying to avoid being accused of putting their price cut notification in the usual beware of the leopard branded filing cabinet, but I have little doubt from the report that the marketing morons said, "Yipee, here's our chance to send a marketing message to the opt outs", and seized on it with glee.
[there you are pedants, yes I carelessly typed BT instead of Post Office. Bite me.]
They could have (gasp) sent them a postal mail leaflet instead,
No fine for that.
The Royal Mail's own unaddressed mail opt out "service" expires after 18 months. The ICO is looking into that (I suspect it's not legal to do that anymore), and the fact that posties frequently ignore it anyway (which is illegal, but enforcement is virtually impossible)
There's probably an IT angle on why they lose the optouts (maybe even a story for El Reg)
The spam I get mostly comes from the US where there is no such thing, it's all marketing and you have no choice if I want to publicise my product at you.
Each MP who suggests a national solution to any internet problem is a dick.
The ICO are a joke, they have no impact of anything. My data was still breached no matter how small the fine for the company.
Despite having 'opted out' of RM's door to door advertising 'service' - the stuff that gets rammed through the letterbox with the legitimate letters, I wonder if the ICO would be interested if I sent it on to them every time the postie 'forgets' we've opted out - along with the numerous emails promising a full investigation and the postie getting a 'hats on interview' with the delivery office manager...
Not true, they are required by law to deliver addressed mail - they are required by contract to deliver the door to door leaflets except where householders have 'opted out' - except that they tell posties to ignore the 'no junk mail' notices and threaten disciplinary action if they don't deliver the leaflets, it's easier to ignore the 'No D2D' markers on the sorting frames than risk having a pile of leaflets left at the end of the week.
@Andy: Why are Royal Mail so incompetent nowadays?
'twas ever so. Try living somewhere with a similar name to a town big enough for the posties to have heard of it. Back in the 1970s my family lived in a place called Horam, and most of our (correctly addressed and postcoded) mail arrived redirected from Horsham.
@10forcash: Not true, they are required by law to deliver addressed mail
Hmmm, now that you mention it, that figures. I think I may have been particularly concerned with vast volumes of mail addressed to a previous occupant of my address, who appeared to have been running some kind of postal business from home.
"Except that they tell posties to ignore the 'no junk mail' notices and threaten disciplinary action if they don't deliver the leaflets,"
If you have proof of that, the ICO would love to hear from you.
That kind of evidence is what turns small fines for breaches into VERY LARGE ones.
I could live with the junk mail (it goes unread straight into the recycling bin anyway) but it would be nice if they delivered letters to the correct address. At least once every week we get someone else's mail or a random neighbour up the road gets our mail. I suppose on the plus side we get to meet the neighbours if only to exchange the wrongly delivered mail amongst us. Why are Royal Mail so incompetent nowadays?
There is also the Junk Mail that the Post Office are paid to dump in my letter box. Every week or so there is the heap of flyers that get dropped through my letterbox along with the post. Mainly local discount shops, and takeaways.
If you want to stop this it is like some Hitch Hiker's Guide joke. IF you persevere you can find a page buried on the PO website that allows you to opt out of getting these leaflets. BUT the catch is it takes "up to 28 days" to opt-out. And then the opt-out is only valid for three months... and then the just ignore you and start they junk drops again.
My favourite trick with junk mail is to take each junk leaflet, find an address, then get an envelope and fill it with random rubbish - ideally heavy like the Yellow Pages \ Phone Book. Address it to the sender of the junk mail... and forget to add any stamps. This leads the spammer to get a parcel delivered... but lack of stamps means he has to pay extra. I call it recycling.
Mark, I'm afraid you're the one who is confused, although it's hardly surprising given how devious the Royal Mail are in making it awkward and difficult to opt out !
The Royal Mail's opt out actually lasts two years (left click on the link way down at the bottom of the page), although you might want to re-register six weeks early because it seems that they are very leisurely in implementing requests.
However, I fully agree it should last as long as you reside at the relevant address. There's no need to re-register for the MPS, so the Royal Mail should follow suit.
" I wonder if the ICO would be interested if I sent it on to them every time the postie 'forgets' we've opted out - along with the numerous emails promising a full investigation and the postie getting a 'hats on interview' with the delivery office manager..."
Actually, they would - The case officer investigating is Aimee Smith.
"Royal Mail argued the email in question was a service because it was telling customers there was a price drop for second-class parcels – but the ICO disagreed."
Back then, their practice was to (get permission from the victim and then) pass the email address to the perpetrator and say "don't spam this person again" - so while the fines now are woefully inadequate as a deterrent, they're an improvement on what used to be done.
Now who's able to fine them for posting other junk through my real-world letter box?
Despite being on the MPS (and TPS) the postie still pushes about 15 leaflets a week through my letter box, he'll go out of his way to get a bundle through the door, even when I have no other mail.
"Instead, you need to opt out from their Door to Door junk every 98 weeks. It's a chore, but it usually works quite well."
If you disagree with the fact that you have to keep optiong out of the Royal Mail's unaddressed mail "service" (ie, their junkmail leaflets), or that finding the optout on their website is akin to stumbling on a filing cabinet in an unlit disused lavatory with a "beware of the leopard sign" out front., then you should be rattling the ICO's cage about it.
The more people who complain about this, the more likely it is that the ICO will actully DO something to force the issue
And the more people who complain about posties ignoring the optouts and delivering leaflets anyway, the more likely it is that the ICO will start snapping on rubber gloves (yeah right).
One or two complaints they can ignore, but when they start getting dozens it's a lot harder.
@ Alan Brown
>"If you disagree with the fact that you have to keep opting out of the Royal Mail's unaddressed mail "service" (ie, their junkmail leaflets), or that finding the optout on their website is akin to stumbling on a filing cabinet in an unlit disused lavatory with a "beware of the leopard sign" out front., then you should be rattling the ICO's cage about it."
Unfortunately I can't see what the ICO can do about unaddressed junk mail delivered by RM. There's no breach of privacy or misuse of stored data just because RM push the same unwanted rubbish into your letterbox as they do for everyone else.
I suspect that the only legal remedy would be to withdraw RM's Implied Right of Access to one's property, but that would be something of an own goal because you'd then have to make endless trips to the sorting office to collect your own addressed mail !
"Unfortunately I can't see what the ICO can do about unaddressed junk mail delivered by RM. "
It's the opt out database they maintain that's the issue - the fact that it expires after two years and the fact that having opted out, your wishes are being ignored.
the ICO subsumed Postwatch some years ago. They also handle postal regulation roles (which make make this somewhat easier than when the delivery side was handled by Postwatch)
The junk mailers want to shove shit into my mailbox, I'll return the favor. At night. Soaked in skunk scent. On fire.
If I'm lucky enough to catch the marketer in the act of stuffing my mailbox full of shit, I've got a catapult, Duct Tape, & pressurized bottles of skunk stink to strap to their chests. It makes a lovely explosion when they crash through the CEO's penthouse apartment in that uber rich suite.
I'll go refill my frog pills now...
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