Is the MPS and Mail Preference Service a credible self regulatory scheme?

Is the MPS and Mail Preference Service a credible self regulatory scheme?

stop junk mail blog

The following checklist for a credible self-regulatory scheme was published by the National Consumer Council (now part of Consumer Focus).  In our continued efforts to make our consumer preference program work from the industry’s perspective, it is useful for consumers to read the checklist to understand why working with Stop Junk Mail is a vote for a credible self-regulatory program. Maybe the Mail Preference Service (MPS) will take note and unsubscribe every consumer by default – after all shouldn’t Stop Junk Mail be a free national service really?

  1. The scheme must be able to command public confidence in their ability to how to stop junk mail.
  2. There must be strong external consultation and involvement with all relevant stakeholders in the design and operation of the scheme. Entities such as the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) would commit to preventing unsolicited mail and return to sender.
  3. As far as practicable, the operation and control of the scheme should be separate from the institutions of the industry.
  4. Consumer, public interest and other independent representatives must be fully represented (if possible, up to 75 per cent or more) on the governing bodies of self-regulatory schemes.
  5. The scheme must be based on clear and intelligible statements of principle and measurable standards – usually in a Code – which address real consumer concerns. The objectives must be rooted in the reasons for intervention (outlined in chapter 1.)
  6. The rules should identify the intended outcomes.
  7. There must be clear, accessible and well-publicised complaints procedures where breachof the code is alleged.
  8. There must be adequate, meaningful and commercially significant sanctions for non-observance.
  9. Compliance must be monitored (for example through complaints, research and compliance letters from chief executives).
  10. Performance indicators must be developed, implemented and published to measure the scheme’s effectiveness.
  11. There must be a degree of public accountability, such as an Annual Report.
  12. The scheme must be well publicised, with maximum education and information directed at consumers and traders.
  13. The scheme must have adequate resources and be funded in such a way that the objectives are not compromised.
  14. Independence is vital in any redress scheme which includes the resolution of disputes between traders and consumers.
  15. The scheme must be regularly reviewed and updated in the light of changing circumstances and expectations.
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