Woolies contacts me to tell me that they know I don’t want to be contacted…


Here’s the relevant bits of a letter I received from Woolworths’ WRewards Team earlier this week:

Dear Mr Thousand,

If you’re wondering [why we haven’t contacted you] you’re on the Direct Marketing Association’s “Don’t contact me” register, and as a member of the DMA, we respected your wishes not to receive any marketing material from us.

However… we’ve decided that from from now everyone with a MySchool card will automatically receive all the benefits for their tier level as well as important Woolworths information.

If you would still prefer NOT to receive any communication from us, all you need to do is call [telephone number] or email [email address] to opt out, and we won’t contact you.

Kind regards,

The WRewards Team

Yes, I’m on the DMA’s “Don’t contact me” register and you can argue the alleged benefits of that service all you like – especially after that much publicised data leak last May. However, for the record, I get very little junk mail, very few junk SMSs and I seem to have been completely unaffected by last year’s oopsie. Look, the service works for me.

That said, it only works when DMA members respect my wishes. And I’m using the present tense there, unlike Woolworths’ “respected” in the letter above. I’ve yet to discover why they feel that they can disregard the rules of the DMA to inform me that they are disregarding the rules of the DMA.

Still, as they tell me, at least I have the option of not receiving any further communication by opting out via the methods given above. The thing that annoys me is that I was under the impression (as they were too) that I had already opted out of receiving any  communication from them in the first place.

And anyway, how far does this go? Once I have opted out (again) will they then contact me (again) against my wishes to tell me that they are contacting me (again) against my wishes to ask me (again) if I want them to not contact me?

I’ll be contacting Woolies and the DMA about this and I’ll contact you again soon to tell you what they say.

UPDATE (27th July):

Email from Woolies:

Recently, many of our customers who are on the DMA list have been complaining that they were not receiving their WRewards guaranteed benefits. By participating in WRewards they are entitled to receive their guaranteed benefits, but because they are registered with the DMA, we respected their wishes to not be contacted by us. This recent influx of requests from customers wanting to receive their benefits irrespective of their DMA status is the reason why you received the email you mention in your blog post.

The business took a view to communicate to all our customers on the DMA as a one-off intervention, to confirm that they do not want to receive further communication from Woolworths. We apologise for the situation and trust that this last piece of communication will resolve the issue.

If you would kindly confirm your opt out status you will receive no further communication from us, including WRewards benefits. You can do so by clicking on the opt out link in the original email or by calling 0861 50 20 50.

Hmm… ok. Three things here.

1. I can sort of understand now why they felt they should get in touch with me.
2. I still don’t think that they should have got in touch with me. That action blatantly disregards the rules of the DMA (whose code of conduct they signed up to) and also clearly ignores my wishes as someone who doesn’t want contacting, as they stated in the original letter.
3. That I have to opt out specifically from their ongoing communications is wrong. Having made the (incorrect) decision to make this “one-off intervention”, I should have to opt in if I want to hear from them, not be forced to opt out again.

I remain unimpressed.

5 thoughts on “Woolies contacts me to tell me that they know I don’t want to be contacted…

  1. I also got that.

    Bit that irritates me? From what I can tell by the email and the complete lack of vouchers I’ve received, if you were on the DMMA list you didn’t receive your rewards and never will? Thieving swine.

  2. If you are already a client of a company and already have an relationship with the company then the Do Not Contact list should not come into play. You would contact the company and let them know if you want them to send you marketing material or not.

    A DNC list is suppose to stop companies that you do not have an relationship with from sending you marketing information.

    So it sounds like Woolworths is correcting a mistaken interpretation of a DNC list and giving you a headsup on why. They could have worded it better by saying they were idiots before.

  3. There’s a difference between being contacted with marketing material and being sent vouchers that you’ve earned. I wouldn’t think that anyone would object to receiving rewards vouchers; they should have just rectified that mistake without contacting everyone on the list. And I agree, you shouldn’t have to opt out AGAIN, you should be able to opt in if you want to.

  4. Rich > Bit weird that they don’t just reply to those who get in touch. Don’t like this blanket approach.

    Dave > Accept your point, but what gives them the right to break the rules they signed up to, whatever the reason?

    Rebecca > Agree there’s a difference, but read again what I have to agree (or aparently have already agreed to and have to opt out of) to:

    we’ve decided that from from now everyone with a MySchool card will automatically receive all the benefits for their tier level as well as important Woolworths information.

    Do not like.

  5. Hang on… so if you opt out of communications you don’t get your rewards? But if you want the rewards you have to opt in to ALL marketing communications? That STINKS – wonder what the DMMA would have to say about that…

    Mind you, the Chair of DMMA is also Head of Online at Woolworths – you’d think they’d get it right.

    Fox watching the chickens?

    Leave a Reply