Price comparison website MoneySuperMarket has been fined £80,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for sending millions of emails to customers who had made it clear they didn’t want to be contacted.
The company sent 7.1 million emails between 30 November and 10 December 2016 updating customers with its terms and conditions. The email stated: "We hold an e-mail address for you which means we could be sending you personalised news, products and promotions.
“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.”
As noted in the email, all the recipients had previously opted out of direct marketing. Plus, asking people to consent to future marketing messages when they have already opted out is against the law.
ICO head of enforcement, Steve Eckersley, says: “Organisations can’t get around the law by sending direct marketing dressed up as legitimate updates.
“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.”
A spokesperson for MoneySuperMarket says: “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.”