So, you are opted in by default…

Some of you may remember my post regarding concerns about how East Coast were collecting and managing customer data when buying train tickets online.

They actually responded very positively and I can confirm that their web forms have been changed to stop the compulsory collection of the more random looking pieces of information.

However, we never really got to the bottom of how I ended up opted-in in the first place. But, buying some more tickets this evening gave me the answer:

You are opted in by default and have to untick the box to opt-out.

This does comply with the letter of the law, which is that we are given a means of refusing (opting-out) of email marketing when buying a product or service.

But, this is not really in the spirit of the law, and not good/best practice for email marketing in the UK, which says:

“If the form has a checkbox to sign up for email communications then this checkbox must not be checked by default. The user must choose to opt-in rather than remember to opt-out.”

Tut tut.

Of course, I remembered to untick this time.