High street optician warned over message content

High street optician Optical Express has been pulled up by the privacy watchdog for sending thousands of unsolicited texts

The Glasgow based chain has been hauled over the coals for bad text-behaviour, after complaints were received by the Information Commissioner (ICO) concerning unsolicited messages. Members of the public were bombarded with texts offering entry into a monthly draw to win eye surgery worth £5,000, reports dailymail.co.uk.

Some 4,609 complaints were logged in just seven months between September 2013 and April 2014, notes eveningtimes.co.uk, from people saying they had not given the company permission to send such messages. Such activity contravenes regulations set up to prevent companies using people’s data without consent; illustrating just why firms should adhere to text marketing best practice.

Complainants were also concerned over the subject of the text message, with campaigners saying that complicated medical procedures like this should not be promoted in the manner of a ‘free holiday’.

Optical Express is already in hot water after a safety scare regarding its Mplus X lens was revealed last week. NHS watchdogs are investigating after leading eye surgeons raised concerns over the lens, and customers have complained of worsened vision after the procedure.

The firm has been warned by the ICO not to send out any more unsolicited text messages, or else face criminal prosecution. The watchdog estimates that Optical Express may have sent millions of texts in total and the case is a firm reminder of the importance of gaining permission from customers before sending out SMS marketing promotions.