Mobile operator EE has been fined £100,000 after the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that the company had sent over 2.5m text message to customers, without consent in early 2018.
EE were encouraging customers to download its My EE app and upgrade their phone along with follow up texts for customers that did not react to the first message.
The ICO said that EE argued the communications were not part of the rules on electronic marketing as the message sent were service messages.
Andy White, ICO director of investigations said, “These were marketing messages which promoted the company’s products and services.
“The direct marketing guidance is clear: if a message that contains customer service information also includes promotional material to buy extra products for services, it is no longer a service message and electronic marketing rules apply.
“EE Limited were aware of the law and should have known that they needed customers’ consent to send them, in line with the direct marketing rules.
“Companies should be aware that texts and emails providing service information which also include a marketing or promotional element must comply with the relevant legislation or could face a fine of up to £500,000.”
An EE spokesman said, “We accept the ICO’s findings, and we’re working to improve our internal processes.
“We’re committed to ensuring our customers are fully aware of their options throughout the life of their contract, and we apologise to the customers who received these messages.”