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Welcome to Fresh Threads, our weekly roundup of what's been happening on the forums. It's a bumper edition this week, because some of the posts were too good to cut down – so thanks to everyone who contributed. Special mention to Jeremy Hawke, who made my favourite comment of the week: "If you're going to convince people the world is flat and France does not exist then you have a job on."
Here are this week's picks:
Andrew Phillips, GDPR
Andrew sells components, which tend to have applications in specific markets. Generally, he launches into new markets by spending time investigating the market, finding companies, names and email addresses, and sending over an email with some product information.
If he hears back from these people, then great – if he not, then he doesn’t hold on to the information.
“Am I still allowed to do this, or is it against the rules now? Nowhere seems to address a simple case like this. All the information is aimed at big business.”
twaen: GDPR applies to consumers, not business contact details. If you use public business contact details you should be fine. B2B is not in the scope of GDPR.
Say you manufacture car parts, and John works at a car company and has his email on the company website. You can definitely email John and tell him about your car parts (in a business context). But if you try to sell him shoes, then you're targeting him as a consumer and not in the business scope above. That would be infringing on GDPR.
Newchodge: You cannot use personal data without permission. Someone's work email address, if it is personal to them, is personal data. So you cannot send an unsolicited marketing email to [email protected], wherever you found the email address. You can send it to [email protected] as you are not using personal data.
Paul Carmen: Technically you can send an email to anyone under GDPR, it does not expressly forbid it. The tricky bit is if someone doesn't like what you do and complains. Most processes for cold emailing will fall over at this point, as they wont have followed any sort of GDPR due diligence.The argument for this type of cold email would have to be covered by "legitimate interest", this is the point another poster made about relevance; e.g. you have to show that you've followed a proper process in order to decide and run a cold email programme.
Essentially, if you have researched the customer first, have a justified legitimate business reason for selling to them (a service that's relevant and would be of interest), plus you are transparent about what you're doing and give them an option to tell you to get lost, you should be OK.
minnehoma’s company is currently caught in a dispute about whether goods were delivered or not. The supplier – who used a courier company to deliver goods – has provided a pod with the name Alan, but the signature read L A I.
The customer is arguing that the good weren’t delivered, but the supplier is claiming that the details on the pod are enough to prove delivery. What’s the legal standpoint here?
kulture: Realistically it is a difficult one. In the end, if it went to court, it would go on the balance of probabilities, and whether the judge got out of bed the wrong side.
Mr D: Can the delivery company confirm delivery to the right address? I've had a pallet go missing years ago that was signed for by someone, not by me – and goods were useful to only a handful of people. I've had parcels supposedly delivered and signed for when I haven't received them. One did eventually turn up from several streets away. Just because something is delivered somewhere and has a signature of sorts, does not mean the customer received it.
Chris Ashdown: We used to ask the delivery company for GPS proof that they delivered to the right address. I think all delivery companies track their vehicles – or at least the main companies.
Mr NB, General Business
Mr NB has developed a website for his designer GRP fibreglass company and thinks the best way to get noticed would be by getting on the first or second page of Google. Though he understands that this won’t happen overnight, he doesn’t really know where to start – the services he’s looked into are out of his price range, and he isn’t sure who his target market is.
mattk: Is your target market consumers (so homeowners, landlords etc) or trade? I have to admit, your web site looks okay, but I am still unsure what GRP roofing actually is.You need to try and think like your customer. What are the uses of GRP roofing and what are the benefits of GRP over tiles (which most people seem to have on top of their homes)?
HazelC: Think what Joe Public will be searching for on Google and make these landing pages or blog posts (or both) on your website. I wouldn't know what that term was either, let alone if I wanted or needed it?
estwig: Find people like me in your local area, who specify in flat roof coverings for extensions and dormers. Incentivise them to specify your product and recommend you.
Alison G, Employment & HR
Alison’s partner has had three sicknesses in a six month period. Even though he followed company protocol and reported in to management each day, the company have decided he needs to provide a sick note from his doctor for all future absences – even if it’s only a day. While he’s happy to follow protocol for a determined amount of time, it seems unfair to set this rule indefinitely.
Prime81: I thought a doctor's note was required for more than seven days off sick. The employer should not be allowed to treat your husband with this 'one day rule' and not the other employees with the same protocol.
Ethical PR: I suggest your husband gives the ACAS helpline a call.
paulears: This will fail in practice, because has anyone ever tried to see a doctor on the day you are sick? It's a two week delay to see a doctor in my area, so by the time you get to see them, you are better and they won't issue backdated sick notes! What does his contract say?
Chris Ashdown, General Business
Bought something for cheap online recently and wondered how an earth the seller is making a profit? This is the thread for you.
Have a lovely weekend everyone!
Thank You for sharing this stuff!
After all said and done, not all businesses or websites need to worry about it. Most small businesses will not be affected right?