Erroneous email sent to 3,500 customers

Article posted by Liam on Tuesday, 25-Jul-2006 15:23 PM

Earlier today, PlusNet made an error resulting in 3,500 Force9 customers receiving a .csv spreadsheet file containing account data relating to 20,000 other customers.

The mistake was reported initially on ADSLGuide and Plusnet had already halted the send when we escalated it to management. The email sent contained the following fields of customer data : "service_id", "username", "full_name", "product_name", "subscription_charge", "postmaster_email", "alt_email", "visp", "optout_status", "active_status"," real_name"

Customer Communications Manager, Ian Wild, commented : "This was an error on our part. In the email tool we have to upload two files, one containing the text of the email to be sent, the other a spreadsheet with that batch's email addresses in it. It looks like the same file was uploaded for both the email text and the recipient list."

Ironically, a new email tool designed to prevent these errors occurring is currently in QA testing due for rollout within the next couple of weeks internally.

PlusNet have sent apology emails to the 3,500 who received the erroneous email as well as the 20,000 customers whose details were distributed.

The Usergroup are disappointed that yet another human error has occurred and will pursue this issue with Plusnet to ensure the new internal email tool has safeguards against a similar situation occuring again.

Discuss this article, and more, on the PUG Forums.

AMENDMENT @ 16:35 - Ian Wild has asked us to clarify that the new tool currently with QA was not specifically designed to prevent this kind of error occurring, but would have done so. Ian has also informed us that the erroneous email was reported to the Information Commissioner's office as soon as the issue became apparent and that PlusNet intend to work with the ICO to ensure that their handling of this error complies with ICO advice.
Article last edited on Monday, 20-Aug-2007 20:22 PM