Recording (wav, MP3) - several seconds of silence at start of recording, sorry... Unedited.
This guy is adamant that I am a scammer, that it is "all over the internet" and that he is going to tell 400 people (as well as Simon, who he is calling) that I am a scammer. Maybe I now have a case for defamation too?
So, a bit of background...
- I, as a private individual, have a number of private email addresses, including one from my mate Simon that owns titanic.co.uk. I pay his company (albeit only £1) for that email address and service as an individual. His company provides communications services to the public, including me. So that means, for that email address, I meet all the rules to make me an "individual subscriber" under the PECR.
- Sending an unsolicited commercial email to that address is a breach of the regulations, and those regulations allow me to claim damages when someone does that (i.e. to sue).
- When I get emails I send a standard response. It is actually a full "notice before action" quoting the details of the breach, referencing the regulations, and the part that says I can claim, and so on. It meets all the rules for such a notice. I have pursued several cases but none to a hearing yet (i.e. people settle).
- The civil procedure pre-action conduct rules for court cases say that I should try and resolve the matter without court, and one such option is discussion and negotiation. So my email offers that, and suggests a starting point for a settlement to resolve this without court. I suggest £200 as a start for negotiation. I based that on googling similar cases.
- So offering to settle for a fee is not a scam, or extortion - it is what I am required to negotiate before proceeding to the court claim. I am not a scammer, I am a victim!
What we need is the regulations to change, for junk emails and junk calls, in section 30, to have something like "Where the amount claimed is £50, or less, the claimant does not have to justify the amount claimed, only that they are a party inconvenienced by the breach". That would simplify the matter massively and allow a lot of claims for junk emails and junk calls. The courts would not be flooded by these as all cases would be settled out of court because the case is so clear cut.
There is a consultation on junk calls now, the same regulations. Please reply and suggest this simple change.
P.S. by popular demand, this is the current wording of my email:-
NOTICE BEFORE ACTION You have transmitted, or instigated the transmission of, 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. I, as the recipient and individual subscriber, have never given you consent to send me unsolicited marketing emails and I have never provided my email address to you as part of a negotiations or sale by you to me in the past. Although I am not in a position to offer you legal advice, this is clearly a criminal offence. The Information Commissioner's Office have clearly stated "I would confirm that your understanding of Regulation 22 is correct; that is, if a company sends an unsolicited marketing email to an individual subscriber without their prior consent and/or without satisfying the conditions of the soft opt-in, then they will be breaching the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations" There is a defence for having taken all reasonable steps to comply, but as you have no way to know that any target email address is that of an individual subscriber, the only step you could have taken is not to send unsolicited marketing emails at all. For the avoidance of doubt here - this is not a Data Protection Act issue, or one where you have the option of relying on an "unsubscribe" link - sending just one email, as you have, is a breach of the regulations. Section 30 of the regulations permit me to take civil action to recover damages suffered as a result of your breach of the regulations. It is difficult to access damages exactly but your email has used resources on my computers and my Internet connection, wasted some of my time, causes distress and annoyance which has interrupted my chain of thought and concentration, and so disrupted s/w development work I am doing. Looking in to similar cases for such damages it is clear that claims range from £270 to £750. In this instance I feel that a mere £200 would constitute a reasonable level of damages for the hassle you have caused me by your breach of the regulations. In accordance with section 8.2(1) of the Pre-Action Conduct Directions of the Civil Procedure Rules, I would like you to consider Alternative Dispute Resolution to this matter by means of discussion and negotiation. I therefore invite your comments and any offer of settlement or other negotiation. However, if I do not receive a reply within 14 days I reserve my right to issue a claim on the small claims track of the county court without further notice. Should this matter go to court I will rely on the email you have sent and associated headers, whois data and other resources identifying the sender. If you believe you have evidence that shows I did give consent to the sending of this unsolicited email I ask that you forward this to me by reply. I look forward to your prompt reply.-- Name&address