Unsubscribing from marketing emails is too tough

Unsubscribing from marketing emails is too tough

Nearly half of online retailers' emails do not meet basic legal criteria

Some of the UK's biggest retailers make it hard for consumers to unsubscribe from their email marketing lists, a study has found.

They also fail to fulfil their legal obligations under the Companies Act 1985 to provide company information in marketing emails said internet marketing consultancy, dotMailer.

The company said 21 of the 46 companies it monitored, including CD Wow, Game, Topshop and Waterstone's, failed to comply with basic criteria.

"The unsubscribe process should be as easy as possible for customers to avoid them reporting messages as spam, but many retailers are making this too hard to do," the report said.

Retailers also have to ensure that their emails and websites include a company registration number, place of registration and the registered office address of the business. This is a requirement of the Companies Act of 1985, which demands this information in marketing emails, including those sent to consumers. This information can be vital in helping consumers contact the right address to settle disputes.

"This information should be set out in the email footer in a clear, concise manner but 21 out of the 46 retailers in our survey did not include all this information, therefore potentially breaking UK legislation," the report said.

The rules do not apply to sole traders or standard partnerships. The latter are business relationships between several parties who agree to work together and to share in profit and also in liability.

The consultancy also said most of the companies surveyed did not attempt to make sure their emails were relevant to the people they sent them to, even when they had already gathered relevant customer information.

Dotmailer said some retailers, including Topshop, STA Travel, Asda and Marks & Spencer performed well and their emails complied with aesthetic, pra ctical and legal concerns.