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Warning: Be careful who you email!

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:31 pm
by magicvw
Hi guys,

Just to share the knowledge,

You are most likely unaware that there is a "no-spam" register in Bulgaria. If you put your email address on this (publicly viewable) list, you are protected from spam because you can sue the senders.

We had never heard of this list, and we unwittingly sent a marketing email to someone who was on it. He reported us (it was just one, short email), and we were summonsed to Sofia for a tribunal. The outcome was a fine of one THOUSAND levs, I kid you not.

There were two fines: 500BGN for sending a marketing email without the words "this is an unsolicited email" (in Bulgarian), which is obligatory for all marketing emails, and another 500BGN fine for sending such an email to a member of the no-spam list.

We've consulted a lawyer, and have no appeal. We broke the law, and ignorance of the law is not a defence.

Who cares that 1,000 BGN is a totally unreasonable amount to fine a company for sending one email? No one. So, just be careful who you email in case this happens to you too!

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:48 pm
by brianj42
Magic, Sorry that you got caught out with this and seem to be a bit of a scapegoat....But personally, at the end of the day, I have so much crap sent to me daily that I really don't have time or sympathy for unsolicited spammers.

PS. Do you have the website ?

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:01 pm
by magicvw
Neither do I, but I don't personally think we were spamming anyone. We started a new branch of our school and sent a handful of emails out to local businesses about our business English lessons. But all it took was one email.

I do have the name and email address of the company that complained. I googled them, and it turns out they went into liquidation last month. We probably sent them the email when they were having a really bad day. We are personally having a really bad day now! Fair enough to them, they probably didn't realise the extent of the fine on us, or didn't care. I do think this fine is totally out of proportion though.

I would love to know what the real spammers get - if you email 10,000 people with Viagra sales? 10,000,000 BGN??

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:09 pm
by Pascalcho
Does anyone have a link to some newspaper or something? (In English)

99% of spammers operate from outside BG.
The only one/thing you hit with this is the just born e-commerce market.

IS this a testcase for Europe how they can demolish their newest biz too?

Europe, really...

(I'm going to check with a Bg guy in marketing)

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:13 pm
by brianj42
They haven't even got this in the UK or US. Do you have the website address for the "no-spam" register ?

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:19 pm
by Pascalcho
There is something like that in Holland for telemarketing.

If your phone nr is in the list then they cannot call you or may be fined.
But ... It needs to be a systematic approach.
Not 1 call or a few calls to some people.

But for emails? This is just hilarious! What a joke.

Are you sure your lawyer was present and not drinking a rakia in his backgarden instead?

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:40 pm
by brianj42
Found it....And magic, according to the sliding scale, you had best not do this again.

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:44 pm
by Pascalcho
brianj42 wrote:Found it....And magic, according to the sliding scale, you had best not do this again.

Good choice of BG.
Kill emailmarketing before it exists!

lol, they don't need a new industry. Plenty of money in BG coming from the fines. :D

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 7:50 pm
by magicvw
Brian - we will not be emailing anyone ever again, unless they emailed us first!

Thanks for the link. We got 1000BGN for one email and the max is 1500? Sounds like they are low on culprits and need some money in the kitty. :( Also of note: mentions Bulgaria.

That wiki page defines spam as "the use of electronic messaging systems (including most broadcast media, digital delivery systems) to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately."

We researched local companies and sent one email to a few of them. We don't have any bulk mail software. It wasn't indiscriminate, and it wasn't bulk. The Bulgarian law is very harsh! You basically can't send anyone an email, unless they asked for it, if they are on this register (don't have a link, will try to dig one out if no one else can provide it). On the other hand, you CAN send 1,000,000 indiscriminate emails out with bulk email software, as long as you write "THIS IS SPAM SUCKER!""" at the bottom of it.

Do I sound bitter? :D

Posted: Mon Mar 14, 2011 8:03 pm
by brianj42
It is harsh, and rather over the top......Money spinner for BG Ltd.

If I could get the list or anyone can point me it would really be appreciated.