ICO fines Moneysupermarket.com Ltd £80,000 for sending unsolicited direct
Written on 10/08/2018

Moneysupermarket.com is a well known price comparison website with a slick marketing campaign. Or rather, not quite so slick as we thought. 

The company sent 7.1 million emails over 10 days at the end of last year. But they got the wrong list. In fact they later discovered the list was all those who had previously opted out of direct marketing! 

And it gets even more surprising. Just one of the 6.8 million who received these unsolicited emails to which they had actively opted out of, actually complained.

And the penalty is, for Moneysupermarket whose turnover is £248m – little more than sundries on the balance sheet!

Comment: IFAC are often asked about cold calling preference service. Firstly cold calling to businesses is allowable, and has no active restrictions. If you are in business, you can expect to receive cold calls.

Secondly to the personal market, the law is complex. Cold calling for investment business is out of bounds, but insurance business calling is allowable. And in these cases a letter to pre-warn a customer about the call and provide options not to receive the call, can be used to warm up the lead, making it no longer “cold”. Obviously you need a system slightly better than Moneysupermarket so that you don’t mix the leads up!

The problem that cold calling the personal market faces is that so much of the competition is so awful and poor. All those PPI calls from Asia!

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