While talking about the junk email I’d received from Virgin Media, I mentioned my previous junk emails from Sage and from FindMyPast. These are instances where I’d decided to report the emails to the Information Commissioner’s Office – and while writing about Virgin Media, it occurred to me that I should probably write about the responses I had from the ICO. So, in the order in which they happened:
As I’ve said before in a number of posts (such as this one about Sage and this one about FindMyPast), as a general rule if I have to give an email address to any kind of organisation or submit one on a website, it tends to be one unique to that company. If I’m submitting that address via a form (web or paper based), if there is a tick box that says (in effect) “I don’t want junk email” I almost always tick it. In those cases where I don’t tick such an option for whatever reason (or where there isn’t such an option to start with), I should always have the option of “unsubscribing” by clicking a link in the emails – an option which, sometimes, I have exercised.
Everyone and their dog, as well as their dog’s fleas, must by now know of the many suits Apple has brought around the world against Samsung, in which there are accusations of patent infringement and similar.
One such case took place recently here in the UK, and it didn’t go Apple’s way. Without going into any great detail, a very brief summary of events is as follows:
On 9th July, 2012, the High Court of Justice ruled against Apple, finding that Galaxy Tab range didn’t infringe on Apple’s registered design, and this was upheld in the Court of Appeal on 18th October, 2012.
I have worked for pretty much my entire adult life in the field of accounts, and throughout that period I have almost always used, to varying degrees, a package from Sage.
This started in my first job, working for a firm of chartered accountants. Around 1990-ish, they had purchased a copy of Sage’s software. The intention was to use it to maintain the records for a client, and they asked me (as the resident computer geek) to learn to use the software so that I could train the person who would actually be using it, and provide oversight and support where necessary. Since then, I’ve used it at various clients and, in recent years, even for my own accounts.
Back in May I had a little rant about Sky One ruining Stargate Universe with an annoying banner, advertising a bit of celebrity gossip that was anything but important enough to justify what they did. A banner that was irritatingly large and stupidly bright – especially considering it was set against the dark backdrop of the show, making it that much harder to mentally block out. (Not that this means if the banner itself was darker, that would be okay – it wouldn’t: it would be less annoying, but it would definitely still be annoying.)
Well, they’ve successfully done it again.
That’s the claim of findmypast.co.uk, one of a number of websites designed to help those interested in the subject of genealogy with the task of investigating their family tree. They seem to think it is perfectly acceptable to send out a marketing email – very specifically, advertising new, lower subscription rates – and claim that it isn’t a marketing email, it’s a “service update”, an email that it is necessary to send out to their membership (and from which said members can’t unsubscribe).
Back in January, I wrote about an issue I had with Very, a Shop Direct Ltd trading arm. Specifically, they had started sending me marketing emails to an address I supplied when I made a purchase from LX Direct (which no longer exists, and also belonged to Shop Direct Ltd) – my policy when purchasing online is to use unique addresses (so I can monitor when companies abuse those addresses) and to opt not to receive marketing emails either from the companies concerned or any third parties. That clearly means those emails from Very were indefensible. They were spam – it’s as simple as that.
I don’t care much for football – or pretty much any other sport for that matter. I don’t watch it on TV, I don’t follow any particular team, and if you asked me to name a team’s worth of players I’d struggle, though I could probably get there in the end. And that’s just naming a team’s worth of players – enough to make up a team, rather than all the current players in an actual team. Asking me to do the latter would be less successful than holding your arm directly in front of a rattlesnake in a sudden and aggressive way and saying “Please don’t bite.”
In case anyone reading this hasn’t noticed, there are a number of Christians who seem to believe the world will end this year, with two very specific dates given: 21st May, 2011, and 21st October, 2011. These dates have been misunderstood by others, with many only being aware of the first of them (tomorrow as I write this) and have formed the impression that it’s being suggested (by those who believe it) as the date for the end of the world. The biggest problem with the world ending tomorrow, they say, is that it’s a Saturday. Why couldn’t it end on a Monday, so that we can have a weekend of fun and debauchery?
The title of this post are the words spoken to me today towards the end of a twenty three minute call I received from a chap called Pete, from Virgin Media‘s complaints department: You can blog about it all you like, we’ll allow you to do that.
The call was the result of a convergence of my complaints, sent in multiple directions, concerning the two main issues I’ve been having with the company recently: The first being the new P2P/NNTP traffic management policy (about which I have yet to post), which I believe is both unfair and unreasonable due to the way in which it has been implemented, and the second being the situation I’ve found myself in on their forums, being banned not once, not twice but three times.
The outcome of that call is that the complaints I’ve sent to the company via a number of channels have pretty much amounted to nothing.