by Danny Meadows-Klue
The Direct Marketing Commission is the industry’s self-regulatory authority for keeping up standards in direct marketing and online retailing. Since the group was established in the UK in September 2008 it has been working on the structures needed for more effective protection of consumers.
Useful links for complaints about online marketing in the UK
Chairman Matti Alderson is “extremely encouraged by the very high levels of compliance exhibited by the industry”, but is clear that the “global recession has slashed marketing budgets and has put pressure on everyone… which could have led to a loosening of standards. However, in spite of this, our statistics have shown that the majority of companies are keen to provide a high quality of service to their customers”.
Analysis of complaints about direct marketing
The Direct Marketing Commission is making the findings of its complaints process public and of the 107 complaints received by the DMC in this period, 94 were investigated and resolved informally without the need for any formal action.
- The industry practice most frequently subject to complaint came under the heading of customer ‘account issues’.
- The second most common area of complaint (9%) fell under the heading of ‘unwanted emails’
- Only four complaints were received – all of which were resolved informally – relating to instances of ‘silent calls’
The DMC says that these complaints concerned ‘only minor breaches of the Direct Marketing Code of Practice’. That means they are issues that are not regularly reported against one specific company or do not affect large numbers of consumers; where the companies involved demonstrated their willingness to take expedient remedial action.