Hello Fresh have been fined by the ICO for spamming their customers. It is good to know that the Information Commissioner’s Office take this sort of thing seriously and hopefully it is a warning to others to seek the correct permissions before contacting people.
The Facts of the Hello Fresh Investigation
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has fined food delivery company HelloFresh £140,000 for a campaign of 79 million spam emails and 1 million spam texts over a seven-month period.
Between 23 August 2021 and 23 February 2022 there were 80,893,013 direct marketing messages comprised of 79,779,279 emails and 1,113,734 SMS messages received by subscribers.
In March 2022 the ICO began an investigation following complaints about Hello Fresh. They even continued to contact some individuals after the request to stop! It was found that Grocery Delivery E-Services UK Limited contravened regulation 22 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 and has now been served with a fine of £140,000.
Hello Fresh Opt-In Statement
The marketing messages were sent based on an opt-in statement which did not make any reference to the sending of marketing via text. Whilst there was a reference to marketing via email, this was included in an age confirmation statement which was likely to unfairly incentivise customers to agree.
Information used after Cancellation
Customers were also not given sufficient information that their data would continue to be used for marketing purposes for up to 24 months after cancelling their subscriptions.
The consent statement for these messages did not meet the requirement that it be “specific” and “informed”, as it did not mention SMS, was unclear and bundled with other aspects, and did not highlight that customers would receive messages for 24 months after they cancelled their HelloFresh subscription.
Advice for the Public
To help you, your friends and relatives stop unlawful marketing calls, texts or emails you can:
- Register landlines and mobile numbers with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS) free of charge. The TPS and CTPS is a register used by legitimate marketing companies to identify people and businesses that have said they don’t want to receive marketing calls. Alternatively, you can tell the company directly that you do not wish to be contacted.
- Mobile phone users can report the receipt of unsolicited marketing text messages to the Mobile UK’s Spam Reporting Service by forwarding the message to 7726.
- Refer concerns that you or someone you know has been the victim of fraud to Action Fraud (in England, Northern Ireland and Wales) and Police Scotland (in Scotland); wider concerns about a business’ practices can be referred to Trading Standards; any abandoned calls that you receive to Ofcom.
Complaints about nuisance calls, texts or emails can be made to the ICO
For free recipe ideas that wont be spammed to you see my recipe section 🙂