I am not going to name the company. After all the Chief Privacy Officer is
on this list. But look at the following scenario:
1. SPAM UCE arrives. Trust me, this is to an individual subscriber.
2. I go to the corporate website and use the contact form to lodge a
complaint, quoting DPA 1998 and 2002/58/EC
3. Several days later I get an email acknowledgement which is not
wholly satisfactory, telling me to ask the Telephone Preference Authority
(sic) for advice
4. I respond suggesting a more in depth response would be desirable
5. I decide they are asleep and lodge a complaint with the ASA, the TPS
and the Sleeping Giant (oops I meant "TICO"!)
6. Several days pass and I get an email acknowledgement which is very
junior and does not meet my needs, nor those of the DPA nor 2002/58/EC
7. I respond and mention that I have now complained to the ASA, TPS and
8. Several days elapse. I get an email telling me I must "Write on
paper to the following address". Apparently I must follow their procedures
if I am to complain to them.
9. I choose not to be fobbed off and explain my formal procedure for
complaining and tell them that they must follow *my* procedure for
complaints and suggest they take it seriously
10. I get an email response (eventually) reiterating the demand to send
a written complaint
11. I resist the overwhelming urge to allow my toys to leave my pram, am
exceedingly patient in my explanation again of my complaints procedure. I
do make a helpful suggestion. (Watch it! I know you lot!!) I suggest to
them that they really ought to take this seriously and escalate it to
someone who understands that there is an issue
12. A very nice lady calls me today to introduce herself and tell me
that she is taking this seriously and that there is a major customer service
education issue here which she will handle, plus getting to the bottom of
the problem. She handles me well, gives me a realistic expectation of a
response (even if it is a call to say "no progress so far") and leaves me in
a pleasant mood. I ask her if "Fred Smith" is their Chief Privacy Officer.
She confirms that Fred is indeed the CPO.
13. I wonder to myself if Fred is about to receive a call from her.
Fred? I'm sorry. I just happen to take this very seriosuly and perosnally.
I know you do too, but it seems that your message hasn't got to the front
line troops regularly and properly. "Fred" of course may be "Freda". I
really don't want to identify the corporation that way.
The lesson here is simple.
As CPO, "How do I get my message to the customer facing parts of my
organisation in such a way that they will take it seriously?"
I may well feature this entire saga, anonymised unless the ASA etc find
against the corporation when it will be mega public domain stuff anyway
[Hmm, memo to CPOs "Want to stay off Google for the RIGHT reasons?"] in one
of our newsletters. I don't copy this list on those. I find that overly
commerically intrusive, but I have put an RSS newsfeed on our website so
people may see new stuff with ease!
Tim Trent - Consultant
Direct: +44(0)1344 392644 Mobile:+44(0)7710 126618
email: [log in to unmask]
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