From the practice of the Complaints Office (3): As a sender, take customer complaints seriously!

The initial situation:

It happens time and again that recipients of advertising emails perceive these mails as spam. Consequently, they mark these unwanted messages as spam, or the recipient complains to the eco Complaints Office or directly to the sender.


What steps does the Complaints Office take?

In the case of a complaint concerning a CSA certified sender, an intensive handling of the complaint takes place. If the complainant gives the necessary mandate, a detailed discussion of the facts is carried out (especially regarding data collection). The Complaints Office then assesses the facts of the case and checks whether the legal and technical criteria have been met. It proceeds to point out any errors that may have occurred to the senders concerned. This gives the CSA certified senders the opportunity to deal with the complaint and, in the future, to avoid any errors that may have occurred.


How should a sender generally act in the case of a customer complaint?

As a general rule, every customer complaint should be taken seriously, even beyond the individual case. Although the assessment of the facts always relates to the specific individual case, it is not uncommon for a legal deficiency in email address collection to indicate a fundamental problem in the data collection of the responsible party. A structural problem of this kind therefore requires more extensive actions than an individual complaint might initially suggest.

In short: If, for example, a data collection form does not comply with legal standards, the sender should no longer send an email to the address of the complainant on this basis, but should also not do so to all addresses collected in the form.

On the other hand, if the sender can prove that the data collection was carried out appropriately, this has multiple positive effects: In relation to the specific individual case, the customer’s trust can be restored. Furthermore, more far-reaching legal consequences can be averted – in the worst-case scenario, such consequences could be fines and lawsuits with resulting compensation payments, but they could also involve sanctions for certified senders, which the Complaints Office must impose in the case of repeated violations.

In addition, the sender also permanently secures its reputation in the market by investigating complaints and, if necessary, rectifying existing systemic weaknesses.

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