Email Spam Court Victory- Daily Mail Newspaper- Exclusive News Story- ***June 2013***

Steven Higgins contacted us after winning a court case against a company that sent him spam emails.

We sold the story on Steven's behalf to the Daily Mail newspaper who ran the story as an exclusive.

Steven wanted to tell others how they could successfully get compensation for unwanted spam emails.

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A firm that bombarded a man with spam emails has been forced to pay him compensation after he took it to court for wasting his time.

 

Steve Higgins, 38, sued a cookware company in a victory that could open the floodgates to claims from others plagued by unwelcome emails.

 

Mr Higgins said he was barraged with up to 60 emails a day from companies. The father of three tried removing his name from the firms’ contact lists by following instructions usually found at the bottom of the messages, a process known as unsubscribing, but this often had no effect.

After working out the value of how much time he had wasted clearing out his inbox with spam from just one firm, the Jean Patrique cookware company in Kent, Mr Higgins gave it the chance to pay what he felt he was owed. 

 

When it ignored his demands, and continued to send him emails, Mr Higgins finally sued it at a small claims court in Northampton. He successfully argued it had breached data protection laws and cost him time and effort in getting rid of the messages that arrived every day over six months.

 

The court found in his favour and ordered Jean Patrique, which never replied to any of the court correspondence or letters from Mr Higgins, to pay £750 in compensation and £60 in court costs.

 

Mr Higgins, a businessman from Northampton, said: ‘The majority of the emails I was receiving I had never opted in to get. I attempted to unsubscribe, but to no avail.

 

‘So I sent out letters directly asking them to stop. I didn’t want them. I pleaded with them. A number of companies continued to send them despite the letter, so I started taking action in the small claims court.’ Mr Higgins has stopped receiving emails from the cookware company since the judgment, and he is now urging others targeted by spam emails to follow his example.

Earlier this year Mr Higgins won £1,000 compensation from a company which pestered him with telephone calls about payment protection insurance, and he now plans to sue a further nine companies for sending him unwanted emails, including the Halifax bank and credit card company Capital One.

 

He said: ‘You do not need to be rich to stop these companies hounding us. Anybody can do it.’

 

Describing the disruption caused by the volley of unwanted messages, Mr Higgins said: ‘Every time I go into my inbox, I am constantly having to delete emails. I am having to trawl through all the messages to find the ones I need to read. I am scanning through 50 or 60 emails of junk. It can take up quite a bit of time.

‘When I have requested them to stop and they ignore those requests it is really disappointing and frustrating. Even if you have inadvertently signed up to email lists by forgetting to tick a box they should respect your wishes when you ask  to unsubscribe.’

 

Under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003, organisations are not allowed to send direct marketing emails to random recipients. However, if the person has previously used the company, it is allowed to send marketing emails about similar products and services, as long as the recipient is given the ability to opt out of receiving such messages.

 

 

HOW YOU CAN DO THE SAME

 

 

The county court has a ‘small claims track’ to handle disputes over less than £5,000. The process is designed to be cheap and quick and should not require a solicitor.

 

 

Before you make a small claim you need to show you have given the other party a clear opportunity to pay up. Write a letter saying how much they owe and what for, and a warning that you will make a court claim if you do not receive the money beyond a reasonable deadline. It is worth seeking advice from a Citizens’ Advice Bureau or law centre before starting your action.

 

 

How to get the ball rolling

 

If the debtor does not respond before your deadline, you can submit your small claims forms. These are available online – search for form ‘N1’ at hmcts formfinder.justice.gov.uk – and cost £25 for claims up to £300, rising to £100 for claims up to £5,000. If you are successful in your claim, the other party will be liable for this fee.

 

What next?

 

The defendant has two weeks to respond to the court, before it allocates a hearing date.

 

In court

The two parties present their cases to a judge. Your main aim is to prove the debt exists. You can take a ‘lay representative’ to speak on your behalf – it could be a relative or a friend. But if you decide to hire a solicitor you will probably have to foot the bill yourself, even if you win. 

 

 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2346248/Man-took-email-spam-pests--won-750-compensation-wasted-time.html#ixzz2XDp0T7j1



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