Returned from holiday to a mountain of mail. Usually this is good fun but recently it’s turned into a nightmare of more and more charity mailings. First off today was British Heart Foundation. A good cause and I walk voluntarily into their charity shops regularly to find bargains and do my bit. But because of recent publicity about charity mailings I took a hard line. I rang them up and asked to be taken off their mailing list. The operator was polite and efficient. She asked for the code next to my address beginning 52A so she could add me to their suppression list but when I quoted it she said I wasn’t actually on their mailing list. Strange – I am looking at a letter addressed to me at my address asking for money from BHF.
She was quick to explain however that it was a one off mailing using data supplied by a 3rd party so they didn’t actually process my name and address. They just used it. I trotted out the well worn definition of processing that all BCS certificate holders know and she did admit that it looked as if they were processing after all. I asked who was the 3rd party and it turned out to be Senior Rail Card.
To be honest it wasn’t Senior Rail card who gave my details to BHF it was Media Lab group; BHF told me at the same time they told me about Senior Rail card.
Media Lab has a website where it says
“The media landscape may have changed, but the need for data hasn’t. That’s why at Medialab, we live and breathe data. It’s at the centre of everything we do. Our data-driven approach allows us to develop successful multi-channel media plans that are built on econometric analysis, innovation and a passion for our clients’ results. As a leading integrated direct response agency, we plan campaigns for the UK’s leading brands including National Trust, Post Office and Macmillan.”
The efficient BHF operator said she couldn’t delete me from their mailing list as I wasn’t actually on it. The list really belonged to Media Lab Group. They only used it to mail me. (Did someone at the back say Data Processor agreement and breach of Principle 7?).
However she had a solution to my predicament. She would add me to their database and immediately add me to their suppression list. Brilliant.
Next Alzheimers. Not as we first thought the Alzheimers Society (See comments) but another organisation working in this sector.
I rang them up to ask them to remove me from their mailing list but not a lot happened. When I say not a lot there was a recorded message saying “we apologise for the delay” then there was silence for the next 10 minutes at which point I gave up. They could have whistled a tune or even played a song but nothing. It was as if they had forgotten to answer or they were hoping (like Doc Martin) that I had no patience.
They were right so I used the system they provided to communicate with them. This time they supplied an SAE and a form where I could inform them of my preferences so I did. They’d used a jocular style to contact me without my consent so I replied in the same vein.
Only 20 more charity letters to deal with… How I hate coming home from holidays.