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Man vs Spam: ISP boss takes on marketing company and wins

An ISP boss has shown how to take on spam emailers and beat them at their own game. 

Adrian Kennard, co-founder of UK broadband provider AAISP, has posted an edited email correspondence he had with the representative of a company who contacted him out of the blue.

The conversation went something like this:

“Good Afternoon. What would you say if I said I can provide you with a data list for your company to build your business back up in the current difficult times? Anything from brand new companies to established companies.”

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Kennard, not a man who minces his words, responded with the following:

“I would say that you have just transmitted an unsolicited communications for the purpose of direct marketing by means of electronic mail to an individual subscriber contrary to section 22 of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003, and that you now owe me damages as per section 30 of those regulations. I look forward to payment of £10 to cover my damages within 14 days or I will issue a county court claim against you without further notice.”

Boom!

The Regulation that Kennard cites states:

“A person who suffers damage by reason of any contravention of any of the requirements of these Regulations by any other person shall be entitled to bring proceedings for compensation from that other person for that damage.”

The damage in this case is the waste of time suffered. Amazingly, he got this response:

“I was not aware of this clause and I am grateful you have brought this to my attention. I will send you the £10 as per your email.

I hope you accept my apology.”

Kennard’s use of the Directive is entirely within the law. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which this week applied fines to a company for making excessive PPI calls, has some good information on the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 and how you can go about making a claim.

While £10 is not going to break the bank for any company that sends an unsolicited email, it’s cheaper and less hassle than having to settle a County Court claim. If enough people responded to spam emails in this way, marketing companies would soon change their tune.

Kennard has previously launched a campaign that would see cold calling companies fined £50 every time they make an unsolicited sales call. So far the ‘Tackling junk calls‘ e-petition has only notched up over 300 signatures, but it closes in April 2014, so there’s still time for the 100,000 signatures mark to be hit. 

Image credit: Flickr user LWY

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