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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 8563
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I am currently looking to start a Free to use car listing

Customer Question

I am currently looking to start a Free to use car listing service for each city in the UK using a dedicated Facebook page for each city ( A non commercial service)
I want to send out an SMS (Text) to people who are currently selling their vehicles on several UK based car sales websites. They have listed their car for sale and placed their telephone numbers in the adverts.
In compliance with ICO we have no previous sales communication with them, however they are the one selling the vehicles so does that mean I can contact them with a Text message informing them of the new service?
I have read that customers are to opt in to marketing and this clearly recorded. However I have also read that there is a soft opt-in service as I am not trying to sell them anything different to what is currently on sale. I must clearly identify my company name and also ensure there is a “STOP” option so no further messages are sent. I would only be sending one SMS and NOT multiple messages per recipient.
The message would simply ask them if their vehicle was still for sale and inform them of a free to sell option using their own social media. If the text recipient wanted more details they have the option to call our information line ( This will be included in the text information). They would not be charged for the text and they would not receive any more than one message.
Our telephone service is a pre-recorded message that charges a minimal amount and is NOT one of the high tariff Premium rate services. At the start of the message all details are declared in line with the “Phone paid services authority”
We will cross reference any Numbers against the Telephone Preference Service to ensure people opting for this service are not contacted.
Are we allowed to offer this service? Are we being fully compliant and operating legally? We do not wan’t to be charged with spamming and fined by the ICO
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 12 days ago.
Hello,
I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.
I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.
Thank you!
Nicola
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 11 days ago.
Hello,
I apologise as we have not yet been able to find a Professional to assist you. Do you wish for me to continue to search for someone to assist you or would you like for us to close your question at this time?
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
No please continue with your search
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
We do require clarification on our questions so we are happy to wait
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 11 days ago.
Hello,
We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.
Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 days ago.

I find it frustrating when someone comes up with an idea like you have, and if you were to ask the ICO or any of the other regulatory bodies whether you were allowed to do this, they will not tell you and they will simply tell you to take legal advice. They do that even though they are the ones that would prosecute you for non-compliance!

I can only give you an opinion because there is no definitive answer to this.

I disagree that you not trying to sell them anything different. It must be different otherwise they would already have it. You are trying to sell your service.

You have already established that you will only be texting those who have opted in to the TPS so that is not a problem.

Provided in your message you quite clearly state that if they ring the number you have sent, they will get charged an amount specified, and which is over and above their normal call charge, I cannot see any problems for you. I can’t guarantee that no one’s going to take exception from it but I think you have covered all bases.

Can I clarify anything else for you?

It’s an important part of the process by which experts get paid.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.

FES.

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
Sorry I'm confused did you mean to sayYou have already established that you will NOT be texting those who have opted in to the TPS so that is not a problem.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 days ago.

I’m sorry. My bad. Yes, that’s correct.

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