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Direct Marketing Commission - Enforcing Higher Industry Standards

Rocket Marketing Group – complaints about direct marketing

December 12th, 2011

This case related to complaints from consumers who had made an order over the telephone for a product advertised on a television shopping channel. At the time of order they had been additionally sold a free trial for one of Rocket’s annual membership discount schemes. Concerns had been raised about the vulnerability of the consumers, the processes employed to sell an additional product or service when taking an order which had led to confusion in terms of the agreement, and the resulting wish of the consumers to cancel. The Commissioners concluded that based on the evidence presented, the member was not in breach of the Direct Marketing Code, and the complaints were not upheld. They were concerned, however, that Rocket should have sound arrangements in place when relying on partners or suppliers to tele-market and take orders.

The company was reminded of its obligations under the Direct Marketing Code of Practice, clauses 3.13 which asks that members must be normally responsible for any action taken on their behalf by their suppliers, and 3.26 which asks members to take all reasonable steps to protect vulnerable consumers.