The Telegraph are now spamming me illegally!

What is worse than getting on someone's mailing list is getting on a mailing list that thinks you are a business/commercial subscriber and not an individual subscriber. They seem to be impossible to get off the master list (the one the scum selling the lists has) and they consider that they do not have to follow any of the rules for individual subscribers as they think (mistakenly) that it is a commercial address.

We still have the stupid situation that the ICO will do nothing about complaints of spam or junk calls.

We still have the stupid situation that you can sue for damages but courts seem to consider that there are no real damages for "a spam email". And the same spammer does not send enough to start to be worth any damages (and if they did, they argue that you should have used their unsubscribe link).

Now, I will be going on a cruise late this month, first one I have been on. I have checked, and if I roam my mobile to the ships mobile service the data will be costing me over £10/MB. These spams are often HTML and link in images and so on.

Whilst I will have a 2400bps "all you can eat" sat phone link with text only email options on its own mailbox, I may occasionally check emails on my normal mailbox. If I get one of these spams I will be able to work out the amount of traffic it took and that will be a few pounds at least. So that should give me an actual, tangible, amount of damages for which to sue. Of course, I have to check that the rules apply if I check my email from outside the country.

It really should not be this hard. If the legislation only had a £50 minimum or something then everyone could sue the sender every time every spam from a UK company arrived, and the whole scummy industry would fall on its knees in no time. I really think it is time something was done about this. Maybe suing a newspaper is a way to tackle it - so I think The Telepgraph will get a formal notice before action in writing on Monday.

They have a defence that they have "taken such care as in all the circumstances was reasonably required to comply with the relevant requirement". My argument to that is that there is no way to know that an email address is an individual subscriber or not, and so no steps, short of never sending unsolicited email, could be taken - so their only choice to comply is never send unsolicited email. It would be interesting to actually have that point with a judge, even if I lose it.

They were kind enough to provide the appropriate address :-

This email is from Telegraph Media Group Limited - 111 Buckingham Palace Road, London. SW1W 0DT registered in England under No 451593


  1. I did not realise that mobiles worked via the cruise ships own cellular service and those data prices @ £10 per mb look pretty scary - I've got a norway cruise coming up quite soon so I will need to be quite careful to avoid a huge bill! Presumably I can set the "global fallback" option to "disabled" if I want to limit it to only roaming on the 10p per mb norway EU rate?

    1. Well, if you on a ship at sea, it is not going to work by mobile masts in the ocean :-) But if near shore you may be able to get local EU signals. I think the global fallback is what you use, but hopefully it will say what network the phone is on.

    2. Oh, and that is assuming it works at all, which I am not convinced.

  2. Might be worth avoiding the term "illegal", which seems (IANAL) to have some technical meaning implying criminal law-breaking (which violating the PECR is not); the term "unlawful" might be better, or phrase it in terms of "your sending of these e-mails violates the PECR" rather than "your e-mails are illegal/unlawful". Don't give them any silly technicalities their lawyers can use to try to wriggle off the hook.

  3. Nah, Illegal Error is best mates with General Failure.

  4. I'm much more irritated by the phone spam I get - several calls per day, all anonymous (withheld or unavailable CLID), giving generic business names which ICO can't trace (I've tried them several times). Which is why my landline is now connected to a SIP gateway: in the next few weeks I'll be programming it to route them all straight to voicemail without ringing.

    E-mail spam, I get a bit more by volume, but it's much less disruptive. Even there I'm down to single figures each day. The remainder seem to be a persistent minority, which I'm hoping I can catch with some well-placed TCP tarpits or at least bounce on the SMTP level - there's one hosting company whose (ex-)customer announcement list needs pruning, too. (No unsubscribe option, but I'm expecting making it bounce will fix that.)

    Good luck dealing with the Telegraph!

    1. Bouncing doesn't fix things - the kind of company that doesn't care about who's on the list doesn't care about bounces either. You can't stop them, just block them & report as spam.

      The phone ones are annoying.. almost every voice call I get is spam :p I have a neat app called whoiscall on android, that has a shared auto-block list of the worst offenders and for the others shows me the top google hit for the number (which is more often than not which particular scumbag it is).

    2. I have set up my server to redirect back to a director's or their sales email address before..

  5. Pizza hut are idiots as well, if you ring e.g. for a takeaway your mobile number is automatically added to their mailing sms system, and even when I supposedbly unregistered mny number I still get their spam and it comes from different numbers everytime so cannot block on phone.


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