Virgin Media apologizes for email spam fiasco

Virgin Media customers received hundreds of emails after a mix-up on a marketing message let recipients reply-all to everyone else. Hitting reply to the message – as hundreds inevitably did – sent the response to everyone else again. However, Virgin has stressed that the email addresses weren’t visible to other users at any point. Twitter users complained they were being “bombarded” with messages last night thanks to the “rookie error”, with some people saying others on the mailing list were hitting reply-all and sending an email to promote their own business or to raise funds for charity.

Virgin Media has apologised after some of its customers received hundreds of unwanted emails because of a distribution list error. Anyone clicking “reply all” to a recent customer services email was able to message everyone on the mailing list. The email was sent to inform customers of changes to Google services. A spokesman said Virgin was “investigating exactly what has happened”, and the company confirmed no more replies were able to be sent. Virgin Media said the problem related to a “sub set” of its virgin.net email customers, but it did not know the precise number affected. Although customers’ addresses were not themselves shared, anyone pressing “reply all” and entering into the email chain exposed their own details to thousands of others – and the company urged people not to do so.

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