EE Marketing

EE slapped with £100k fine over unsolicited marketing texts


By John Glenday, Reporter

June 25, 2019 | 2 min read

Mobile network EE has been hit with a £100k fine after it was found to have sent 2.5m marketing texts to customers last year urging them to upgrade their phones without first having obtained their consent.


EE slapped with £100k fine over unsolicited marketing texts

The scale of the blanket texting operation brought it to the attention of the Information Commissioner’s Office, which has now intervened with a financial penalty in order to discourage a repeat.

EE claimed that its messages urging people to download an app and upgrade their phones, as well as follow-up texts to those who did not respond, could be classed as service messages and were thus exempt – a stance dismissed by the ICO.

Andy White, ICO director of investigations, said: “These were marketing messages which promoted the company's products and services.

“The direct marketing guidance is clear: if a message that contains customer service information also includes promotional material to buy extra products for services, it is no longer a service message and electronic marketing rules apply.

“EE Limited were aware of the law and should have known that they needed customers' consent to send them, in line with the direct marketing rules.”

Current rules permit direct marketing of this nature only where customers have granted their express consent or if a simple opt-out path is provided, a position now accepted by EE which has apologised to its customers.

Surveys show that GDPR legislation has anecdotally reduced the incidence of unsolicited marketing communications.

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