Free shipping weekends at Thompson & Morgan
T&M have weekends throughout the year when you can order seeds, bulbs and plants with free shipping, which can save you £1.95-£6.90, depending on what you order.
There's one this weekend, which ends at midnight on 3rd March 2019. To activate the free shipping offer you may need to use a code when you checkout: TM_TN596W. If you click through my affiliate link, I will get a few pennies if you place an order, which will help support this site (but won't cost you anything!).
[How ethical is T&M? In 2014, Ethical Consumer magazine scored T&M 10.5 out of a possible 20. They got marked down for selling peat products, F1 hybrid seeds and pesticides and for the shortcomings of their environmental policy. It is worth noting, however, that the company has been sold since then. The website notes that T&M "is owned by Branded Garden Products", but that company was sold to BVG Group in March 2017, so Ethical Consumer's information is out of date.]
But, if I understand them correctly, this is what they're doing:
- Changing their settings so you have to opt out of receiving third party emails, i.e. they will supply at least your email address to other companies unless you opt out (rather than having to opt in to receive them, which was the previous setting).
- They are going to use your personal data to create customer profiles, which will then be used to "develop automated email communications with you based very specifically on the products you have bought or are interested in". They say this is to reduce the number of paper catalogues they send out, which is a worthy goal, but I'm not sure about their method.
- They will be using a technique called custom audiences to "deliver product adverts and gardening information to you via Facebook and Twitter". There's no mention of them only doing it if you choose to follow them on FB/Twitter, so I guess it means they're going to use your data to show you adverts regardless.
- Which means that they will be passing your personal data to FB and Twitter, unless you opt out.
There has been a lot in the media recently about Facebook and their misuse of personal data (often very personal data) and apps which supply your data to FB whether you have a FB account or not. There has also been plenty of discussion about their role in promoting hate speech and anti-vaccination propaganda, and shady dealings undermining democracies and affecting elections.
The evilness of Facebook is one of the reasons why I started this forum, so we could chat pleasantly without feeling like everything we do is being used to sell us something.
Personally, I don't want to be followed around the internet by a persistent hawker, constantly trying to peddle me things I don't need. It's intrusive, and unnecessary.
So... I have emailed T&M to opt out of these new changes, and I have checked all the OPT OUT boxes in my online account. And in future, where possible, I will buy any T&M seeds I want from a shop.