Should HSBC rebrand itself as HSSC?

The Hongkong and Shanghai Spamming Corporation. Based on my various inboxes, it would appear that HSBC have recently become spammers – or it may be that they’ve been spammers for a while, and I’ve only just noticed it. Before delving into the spam emails I’ve received from HSBC, I should explain why it’s possible they’ve been doing it for a while, and why I may not have noticed before. This is down to the way I have my mailboxes configured – and some recent changes I have made to them.

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Replies from the ICO about Sage and FindMyPast

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 theĀ Information Commissionerā€™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:

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Virgin Media joins the ranks of spammers

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…

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Sage joins the ranks of spammers

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…

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When is a spam not a spam? When it’s a service update

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).

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Very: Sitting in the grey area between spam and legitimate email

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…

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