Hello from Orange, and from 1,000 complete strangers

10 February 2010

Data protection - it's hard work, isn't it? Having to find somewhere safe to keep all that customer information, and then making sure nobody inadvertently emails it back to the customers. For example, if you've contacted Orange through their website recently, you may have received a short email from the service provider, because Orange are wanting customer feedback to improve the experience:

Hello from Orange

Thank you for your recent email enquiry. In order to improve our service we would like to take the opportunity to ask you a couple of questions regarding the way in which you have contacted Orange.

In the pursuit of improving service provided to our customers, Orange are intending to update and modify the 'Contact Us' section of the Orange website that our customers use to email their queries to our Customer Service Representatives.

It would be greatly appreciated if you could reply to this email with your thoughts on the 'Contact Us' section by answering the following questions.

How easy was the 'Contact Us' section of the Orange website to navigate?

Was your query included in the options available?

Did you find it easy to locate the 'Contact Us' section?

Do you have any suggestions or comments on how we can improve this service?

Your feedback is important to us and will be passed on to our Development Teams, so thank you for taking the time to reply.

Kind regards

Orange Online Services Team

Avid Bitterwallet reader Mark knew he wasn't alone in receiving the email - partly because it wasn't personalised and the contents were generic, but mostly because the address field contained over one thousand email addresses aside from his:

Bitterwallet - personal data slip-up by Orange

Those on the list are already emailing one another wondering why Orange has sent their email details to a big ol' bunch of strangers. And despite the data protection gaffe, users are yet to receive an apology from the company. At least you've all made some new friends for Google Buzz, eh?

TOPICS:   Scams   Privacy


  • andy y.
    an objection lesson that you should always guard your email details [email protected]
  • Adam
    Gotta love Orange for their brilliant customer service! I responded to an automated request for feedback and ended up getting bombarded by abusive texts from the customer service rep in question.
  • Nobby
    I agree from [email protected]
  • Jase
    When did this happen? I'm an Orange customer, but never saw any e-mail like the one in question...BUT, I just spotted a password reset attempt for my Windows ID account (the address associated with my Orange account) that I couldn't have made (not been online all today).
  • Paul S.
    Jase - it appeared to be directed only at customers (and possibly non-customers) who had contacted Orange through the website. There were only (only!) around 1,000 email addresses and Orange's customer base is no doubt vast, so it's only a tiny snapshot.
  • bod
    Saw this posted on hukd, thread was quickly locked by asb, presumably to get an exclusive for bitterwallet.
  • Andy S.
    I got this email too. Not sure if it is just the North East area? I get a reply everytime someone comments on the email. Have loads of emails with peoples comments on this. Orange need to release a statement and contact the people in question to apologise, but this time disclose the email addresses :)
  • Andy S.
    Just check my email and got this: Hello We recently sent you an email requesting feedback on our Online services. We'd like to apologise for an error which meant that a number of customer's email addresses were not hidden from view in the mail. We're now reviewing our email policy to ensure that this doesn't happen again. Once again we would like to apologise for any inconvenience this has caused you. Orange
  • Mark
    Ye, I got that reply aswell... Can't really expect much, easy enough to do by acciedent.. Only happened to a small % of us. Not like there gone to give us anything for this.
  • Spotify B.
    [...] It worked for customers of Orange, and now Spotify have done much the same thing. Avid Bitterwallet reader Jack has been in touch about a joint promotion Spotify are running in conjunction with TalkTalk – entrants submit a favourite Spotify track and their email address, and winners receive a premium subscription to Spotify. Not that you have to win to receive a prize – yesterday, Jack was lucky enough to get a mailing list of over 240 email addresses, all CC’d into an email sent by Spotify. Obviously he was less than delighted to note his own address amongst those distributed to all recipients. [...]

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