Fighting junk mail – More loopholes than a Govt Bill

The Indo has a piece today on junk mail. Only a few thousand have opted out to receive snail mail spam. Yeah, you have to opt out in this country by sending in a form to the Irish Direct Marketing Association. That’s right Skippy, the industry is the one in charge of the opt-out database. Just like the Advertising Standards “Authority” of Ireland which is funded by the advertising industry. Self-regulation. But then we have a telecoms poodle that is funded by the telecoms industry.

Back to the point I’m going to make. So you fill out a form, sign it, send it into the industry representative group, they can take up to two months to process it and then you are off snail mail advertisments sent to you. BUT this does not include any of the crap the likes of Dell sends out as you were a customer previously. If you were a customer of a company that are sending you mailshots then you have to contact them directly and ask to be removed. Lovely. So off I trot to the IDMA site today only to find you can’t download the form that is to be filled out as the link is bust. If I was a cynic I’d say “that’s handy”. That’s handy. If you ring they’ll post a form out and you can fill it in. The catch you see is you must sign the form. I guess that’s why you can’t ring them up and have yourself removed. Yet you can sign up for any junk mail without signatures. You can find the form here though.

Imagine if there was an online service where you fill in all your details, postal address, phones, emails and all the various databases are told to have your details removed. One can only dream I guess.

4 Responses to “Fighting junk mail – More loopholes than a Govt Bill”

  1. Simon McGarr says:

    It is possible to imagine a system whereby a person could authorise a third party to sign the form for them, as agent.

    Though as you say, I see no reason why a form ought to demand a signature- an email setting out the same, and with your name appended at the end ought to be enough.

    Another way of approaching the question might be through the Data Protection Act. After all, the databases you refer to contain personal information as the Act recognises it. You are within your rights to request it to be erased.

  2. I think your technique of naming and shaming those who spam has a calming effect on those who do not respect the email inboxes of others.

  3. I got a phone call today from a Gerry, the regional sales manager for eircom asking if I would like to change back from my current phone provider. I am sure that I requested previously not to be contacted any more but I cant be sure and of course he said I didn’t.
    So I ask him to remove me and he says he cant, I need to ring another number. Then he tells me that there is a charge to be removed from their call list. A charge to stop being spammed!
    Does anyone know if this is true?

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