eg. An electrician has put their mobile number on a website to attract business. Can I legally contact that electrician to tell them about a product that he/she may be interested in? .. Everything is based in the united kingdom.

  • What makes you think that the number you see can receive text messages? Many businesses operate from land lines, not cell phones. What country are you asking about?
    – Ron Beyer
    Nov 25, 2018 at 13:57
  • Hi Ron, The United Kingdom.
    – jon
    Nov 25, 2018 at 14:01

1 Answer 1



From here:

Organisations must not send marketing texts to individuals without their specific, valid and prior explicit consent. This consent must be recorded and kept as proof of consent. There is a limited exception for previous customers, which is known as the soft opt-in. A soft-opt in only applies if the organisation have obtained the contact details in the course of a sale (or negotiations for a sales) of a product or service to the customer; they are only marketing their own similar products or services; and they gave the customer an opportunity to opt-out of the marketing, both when first collecting the details and in every message thereafter.

  • Thanks Greendrake, could it not be argued that putting your number online for people to contact you is consent.
    – jon
    Nov 26, 2018 at 3:41
  • @jon Nope, because they put it online to be contacted regarding specific purpose. This does not constitute consent to be contacted just about anything.
    – Greendrake
    Nov 26, 2018 at 3:44
  • thanks.. I hear you.. though it seems very unfair that businesses setting up today can't reach out to potential customers with targeted messages, without having to pay huge advertising costs to companies that all got away with spamming back in the day. I mean how can you get a potential customer give you permission to contact them without you first contacting them?
    – jon
    Nov 26, 2018 at 3:46
  • @jon Do you like spam? Or do you think your proposal is any different from spam? Certainly there will be a chance that some of your recipients are glad you contacted them, but the vast majority will be annoyed. Do you think it is fair to annoy 95% of people to get 5% satisfied? Then, market is about the balance of supply and demand, not about fairness. You either afford lawful advertising, or you are out.
    – Greendrake
    Nov 26, 2018 at 4:34
  • true, but I would say there is a marked difference between someone that sends 1000 one time messages to people that may well have a legitimate interest in the message than someone that sends out multiple messages to a million random people.. I would consider the first to be legit marketing and the second spam. As I understand it, this used to be case.
    – jon
    Nov 26, 2018 at 12:31

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