Alex vs Spammers

At Christmas my tolerance for spammers reached rock bottom. One of my email accounts was virtually unusable thanks to the volumes of SPAM hitting it, and I decided to do something about it.

Here in the UK we have what’s known as the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (As Amended) which controls amongst other things, direct marketing via email to individual subscribers.

The act doesn’t give specific values as a penalty, but does allow for damages. It also allows what’s known as a “soft opt-in” which means if you did business with someone, or negotiated for business with them in the past, they can send you marketing email as long as they made it clear to you that they would be doing so upfront.

As I said, my tolerance hit rock bottom, so I started issuing Notice Before Action’s to various spammers who fulfilled various criteria – i.e. they were easily identifiable and were a UK Limited Company (or Sole Trader). A lot of these people responded immediately and offered apologies, admitting to breaching the act in other words, but refusing to pay up. Some ignored me (and continue to do so).

So I started taking these people to court. Thus far I have had several successes, with the companies involved settling with me before going any further down the process. The latest was S E T Office Supplies Limited, who sent two emails in October and November 2014 regarding an “Amazing Bolt Racing Chair”. Their MD George Amos was very arrogant towards me, offering to settle for £1 per keystroke. Sadly, he seemed to think this meant £2, for clicking delete twice.

He said, and I quote, “I am extremely sorry that we have caused you so much inconvenience by sending you an amazing offer on an extremely comfortable and durable office Chair.”

and

“I am more than happy to pay you an appropriate amount of compensation for the time it would have taken to resolve this matter if you had followed the normal channels.”

This totally ignored the fact that I shouldn’t have had to follow normal channels – his actions in buying a list in, and blindly marketing to it were illegal.

His final email to me said (amongst other things)

“I am therefore not prepared to pay compensation, but I will vigourously defend my company’s actions should you choose to spend yet more “precious” time taking the matter to court.”

So what’s a guy to do? I know; take him to court.

You can imagine my surprise when this arrived in the mail today!

2015-02-18 20.10.32

Claim, paid in full (£100 per email, plus £25 costs). Big thanks to Adrian Kennard, whose spearheading this technique has opened my eyes to the solution to stopping some of the SPAM I receive.

Since starting this process, my UK SPAM has dropped considerably, and every UK SPAM email I receive now gets followed up on.

I still have irons in the fire, and will update when I have more info on those 🙂

Posted in SPAM


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