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AIBU to think Mothercare is breaking the law here?

(44 Posts)
pasbeaucoupdegendarme Fri 03-Jul-15 17:14:46

Last week I dispatched DH to Mothercare to get some newborn essentials while I remained pinned to the sofa clusterfeeding ds. When he paid for the items, he was asked for his email address on the grounds that "We are trying to go paperless and would like to email you your receipt." More fool him, he agreed.

Since then (8 days ago) he has received 8 marketing emails as well as the promised email receipt, including emails from the Early Learning Centre.

He's just gone to the website to unsubscribe, and in doing so discovered that they have his email address preferenced to receive emails from third parties. This isn't true. He was at no point asked whether he was happy to receive emails (other than emailed receipts), and he certainly wasn't asked if they could sell his details. This is in direct contrast to information on Mothercare's website which states "Mosaic Marketing and Mothercare plc will never pass on your details to 3rd parties without your consent." Now, ELC is probably part of one of these so technically isn't a third party, but that doesn't alter the fact that they'd automatically made that selection on his email preferences.

AIBU to think this is illegal - in contravention of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003?

Toothfairy7 Fri 03-Jul-15 17:52:48

We get this from them all the time!!! My husband also have his email address over and ever since has been bombarded with junk emails which of course he doesn't want from them.. I get the going paperless thing, I think that's a generally good idea. Saying that we have had other shops doing it too asking for emails

plutonimum Fri 03-Jul-15 17:53:37

Go on! I'd like to see their reaction. Even if there's a loophole, it is sharp practice!

VivaLeBeaver Fri 03-Jul-15 17:55:43

I dunno about illegal but it's a pita.

I front such requests out. I deny I have an email address, I deny I have a mobile phone number, I deny I have a landline.

Andrewofgg Fri 03-Jul-15 18:09:47

I deny having email or a mobile and I give a bogus landline number (one which I know is unobtainable if you ring it) - not that I'm a regular at Mother-don't-care but there are other retailers up to the same dirty tricks.

WhetherOrNot Fri 03-Jul-15 18:21:48

Argos asked me last week for my email address........I said I didn't have one. She just shrugged and gave me my receipt. smile

ohlordyplordy Fri 03-Jul-15 18:47:40

A couple of weeks ago Argos asked me if i had an email address. My response "yes", followed by awkward silence. Eventually he just gave me a regular receipt.

Starbrite00 Fri 03-Jul-15 18:50:21

I couldn't be arsed it's just emails that are easily deleted. Mothercare and early learning are sister companies. I cant believe you went and looked all this up to be honest.

Optimist1 Fri 03-Jul-15 18:53:49

I can't see the problem here, OP. You get the benefit of not cluttering up your purse with a paper receipt and being "green". As you're a customer, Mothercare are reasonable to assumer you may well be interested in knowing when their sale's on or when they have special offers so it's not unreasonable of them to send details to you. You have the option of unsubscribing from their list with a couple of clicks if these communications are of no interest to you.

highkickindandy Fri 03-Jul-15 18:56:54

I have a separate Hotmail account for just this sort of thing, check it every few weeks to clear out the junk and my regular non-Hotmail email inbox doesn't get filled up with rubbish. I try very hard not to giver my email to anyone I don't need to now or I give them the Hotmail one.

RufusTheReindeer Fri 03-Jul-15 19:00:20

I give fake everything, mobile numbers, home numbers, postcode, email

Did cause me a bit of a problem when I needed to prove I'd ordered something by repeating my"fake" home number

I was fine,it's was DD insisting that I had the number wrong that was embarrassing

SoljaBonita Fri 03-Jul-15 19:02:55

Its one of those things that you should know to expressly opt out of whenever giving your details, be it ticking a box on a form, telling a person on the phone etc

its rather a good idea I havent come across yet and would put up with a few junk emails over the nightmare of trning the house upside dwn for a reciept to fnd it torn in half and drawn on by a toddler ;)

jugglingmonkey Fri 03-Jul-15 19:04:43

I agree with you op, this is disgusting and very misleading of them.

I am literally bombarded by hundreds of marketing/sales/promotions every week. I highly doubt I ever opted in for some of them, if any. It drives me crackers.

Yes, a monthly newsletter/offer is fine, but every single day is not fine.

WorraLiberty Fri 03-Jul-15 19:10:20

I have a separate email address for this sort of thing.

EllieFAntspoo Fri 03-Jul-15 19:10:47

Yes, the checkout assistant broke the law, and by default, so did the company, as she was working as their agent. But it is only a real law if it is enforced. It is illegal to drive over 70mph on a motorway, but if they never prosecute anyone until they exceed 78mph, then the defector speed limit on a motorway is 78mph.

So, unless you are willing to prosecute, then you fall into the category of someone who made a mistake and has to live with it. They can do as they wish with the information you gave them unless you are willing to stop them.

What you could do is get the checkout assistant's name (receipt/name badge on a second visit) and prosecute them personally, and initiate a second case against MC to recover court costs and claim damages (lost time/anguish/etc.) You could write to head office asking for a breakdown of all third parties your data has been passed to, and generally create as much administrative hell, publicity and noise as you can. They'll end up settling out of court and apologising on Watchdog etc.

But unless you feel so aggrieved, and I'm guessing you're just annoyed at them, then DH has learned not to be a sheep, and protect his privacy, and it'll be far less anguish for you and your family just to change e-mail addresses, move on and forget about it.

moggle Fri 03-Jul-15 19:16:42

After giving birth to DD, I had popped shuffled agonisingly slowly to the loo when the bounty lady came round the ward. My DH gave her his email address and now is always moaning about all the shit he gets in his inbox. But at least I got the freebies. Haha!

It is annoying... And illegal... but I can't believe you are giving this headspace with a baby a few weeks old!! Congratulations.

moggle Fri 03-Jul-15 19:17:33

it'll be far less anguish for you and your family just to change e-mail addresses
God I'm having palpitations just thinking about changing my my email address!

pasbeaucoupdegendarme Fri 03-Jul-15 21:27:34

We do have a separate email address for such things, and indeed my usual response to "can I take your email?" is "No." which they always find strange.

Of course I'm not going to prosecute, I'm not that petty! wink But the principle does annoy me, I don't mind the idea of paperless receipts, but I don't want the spam, and I don't want more companies than necessary forming profiles of me/my family based on my shopping habits. If Apple can do paperless receipts without the spam, so can mothercare.

Themoonornot Fri 03-Jul-15 21:37:12

Yanbu. ico.org.uk

BigRedBall Fri 03-Jul-15 21:40:31

Call 101. It's disCusting.

GGabcd Fri 03-Jul-15 21:47:13

It's not SPAM. I would bet somewhere in amongst all the T&C crap there is a clause saying that when you shop in store it counts as auto opt in.

So your husband did agree to it.

TheMeaningOfLifeIs42 Fri 03-Jul-15 21:49:06

Argos take your email at the till to send you one email with a copy of your reciept and only that ...its recorded in their head office so if you lose your paper one they can trace your sale from any store if you need to return ...that is all it does ...if you get other emails from them its because you did/didnt check the right box on their website when buying/ reserving

TattyDevine Fri 03-Jul-15 21:51:19

Seriously though, this kind of thing gets a hair right up my arse, because it might just seem like a one off not that big a deal, but when you are the internet shopping queen getting 400 emails a day it does become a problem - my mother grinds my tits because I have missed yet another email from her when I generally can barely fathom the energy to click on my inbox yet alone start to deal with them. I have NEVER opted in to emails.

One company that recently really riled me was a website called Houzz. I was looking for kitchen design ideas. It did that thing where you have to either sign up or "sign in with Facebook" so I opted to sign in with Facebook. It ripped my email address from that (technically with my permission as I probably agreed to them accessing my email address) but proceeded to email me up to 3 times a day since. I never actually said they could email me even though I may have acknowledged, by proceeding, that they had access to my email address. Okay. But I then unsubscribed 31 times (I counted) before I finally went on their website and did the "contact us/make a complaint" thing and told them to STOP EMAILING ME.

Also, Dermacare Direct, I made a screen dump of the page where you have to tick a box opting out of email communications, and have that evidence that I opted out. So why are you emailing me twice a week with marketing emails? Why?

I put up with this shit for years and I am finally starting to crack. It's not fair. And it certainly won't make me put my hand in my pocket. You cunts.

TattyDevine Fri 03-Jul-15 21:56:57

There is another website that sells homey stuff, who's name escapes me right now but I think it starts with J or something, who's stuff I really liked the look of so I clicked on a link. (Yes, annoying banner type advertising can work). But on clicking on it, it wanted me to sign up first. I re-tried, not clicking on a banner link but just googling and going straight to their site, but still it wanted me to sign up JUST TO LOOK. Well fuck that on principle. So I didn't. Therefore I will NEVER BUY ANYTHING FROM THEM.

If they were not quite so arrogant to think people will sign up JUST TO LOOK, I probably would have browsed, and maybe would have bought something. At which point they would have had my email address, and probably abused it, and ignored unsubscribeds.

Give it UP. Just respect our right not to be bombarded. You think you are the only ones and that we can handle 52 extra emails a year - but you are not the only ones. And when its 3 times and year, and all of you, it is literally thousands.

Enough is enough.

(I might benefit from counselling, I realise that)

TattyDevine Fri 03-Jul-15 21:58:58

*3 times a week, for a year, I meant

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