I’m fed up with spam from eBay sellers. Yet again this morning I’ve received an email from an eBay seller in direct contravention of The Privacy and Electronic communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.
When you buy or sell on eBay you’re agreeing to which states unequivocally: “You may not add other eBay users, even a user who has purchased an item from you, to your mailing list (email or physical mail) without their consent“.
These companies know that they’re breaking the law. That’s why invariably their emails state “You are receiving this email as a customer of the ******* ebay store”. They’re trying to justify sending you the email as a previous customer. However both you and they signed up to the eBay User Agreement by opening an eBay account.
There is no room for negotiation. If a buyer wants to receive your emails they are perfectly able to sign up to your eBay shop email marketing.
Sadly the biggest offenders are the biggest companies who appear to ignore the law and only act when they receive complaints. I’ve had one company whose “eBay Manager” added me to their mailing list last year. Six months later their excuse is “A junior member of their marketing team” added me back to their spam list. Junior members of staff shouldn’t have the ability to handle spam email lists.
It’s not an uncommon occurrence either and don’t think it’s just me who’s being added to numerous eBay seller’s email lists. When my email address gets added 10s or 100s of thousands of other eBay buyers email addresses are being added in bulk.
If an eBay seller adds you to their mailing address I suggest you do two things. Firstly write to them to complain demanding compensation for your time and inconvenience. If they don’t pay a reasonable compensation for your time and inconvenience, I suggest causing them maximum hassle by reporting them to the Information Commissioners Office.
I don’t charge companies for my time to make money. I do it because I know how inconvenient it is for the company and how much trouble it takes them to get someone to authorise the payment. Raising a payment gets enough senior manager’s notice that their spam is highlighted at a senior level. I want the companies to realise how serious their crime is (and let’s not beat about the bush, it is a crime and they are breaking the law).
I hate spam. I hate companies that send me spam. They deserve to be inconvenienced and learn from their mistakes. Sadly some don’t, but if enough people complain they might start to realise they can’t simply get away with ignoring the law and brushing complaints under the carpet.