I have to agree - it seems UK companies are buying lists from database suppliers and sending spam. The argument, I am sure, is that it is not unsolicited as people have "registered" with the database supplier, but really, does anyone ever actually sign up to get random spam? I'd love to know what people think they are signing up for.
So far I have been sending polite emails like this :-
You have transmitted an unsolicited communication for the purpose of direct marketing by means of electronic mail to an individual subscriber contrary to section 22 of The Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003. This is not a Data Protection Act issue, or an issue with your "unsubscribe" link - the regulations have been breached by sending an email without having had a sale or negotiations with me and without my consent to the email being sent. You now owe me damages as per section 30 of those regulations. If you promptly pay £10 in damages I will not pursue you for damages as per the regulations or report your breach to the ICO so that they can consider fining you. I look forward to payment of £10 within 14 days or I will issue a county court claim against you without further notice. For your information I have issued county court claims for such damages in the past, and I have collected damages from other spammers. Send payment to ...
In general I am not getting a reply. However, sending the same as a letter to registered office has managed one response, from someone offering to send the £20 (oddly, he offered to send to a charity if I wanted?!). So another win.
The problem is that it just means one of my email addresses has been removed. It has not stopped them sending spam generally. What we need is the ICO to set up a few domains with wildcard email addresses, for individuals, and see how much UK spam they get. Then they can threaten the spammers with fines properly.