A while back, I was contracted by a regular client to help him set up his new restaurant (website, social media, logo, etc…). I also agreed as a favor to help him navigate Mailchimp and set him up with an account so that he could send out newsletters to his guests. One day I receive an email titled “Database Imports” containing an Excel file.
Me: What’s this for?
Client: These are subscribers to be added to our new Mailchimp account.
Me: Oh, great! How did you collect them?
Client: Friends, family and a few regular customers from my other restaurants.
Me: Cool ok, it’ll be nice to start with a few subscribers. Let me take a loo-
Me: …There are 66,256 names on this list.
Client: Yes so what?
Me: You got 66,256 people to agree to sign up?…
Client: Of course I didn’t. They signed up to newsletters from my other businesses. Same thing.
Me: No it’s not. This is illegal.
Client: You worry too much. Do it.
Client: Just do it. I have 30 years’ experience in this biz and that’s how it’s done.
Fast forward a few months and the introduction of GDPR…
Client: WE URGENTLY NEED TO REVISE ALL OUR MAILING LISTS. I TRUST YOU HAVE A WAY OF SEPARATING THE ONES WHO SIGNED UP FROM THE ONES WE ADDED?
I actually saw this coming and set up different lists, just in case so it would be a breeze to delete the offending entries. But I’m still debating if I shouldn’t dish out some poetic justice and tell him he needs to start from scratch because I hate the way he handles his customer private information.