May 25, 2018
by Tim Prater

We’re Sorry: Statement from Prater Raines, suppliers of the Alliance Party website

As website developers, we take a great deal of pride in the work that we do, and hope that we go the extra mile to keep our clients happy, and their sites well supported.

However, sometimes things go wrong. Yesterday it went badly wrong on the site of one of our long-standing clients – the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland.

It was our fault, and we’re mortified, but we wanted to also explain what has happened and what we’re doing to fix it as best we can.

Essentially, ironically in the process of ensuring the Alliance website and emails match up to the standards required by the GDPR, the site started sending some emails we didn’t want it to and didn’t expect. By the time we identified the issue and stopped it fully at 10pm last night, it had dispatched thousands of emails to users who have signed up to accept emails, with some users receiving over 100 separate emails.

This mistake was entirely ours, and not that of Alliance. We want to apologise to anyone who received those emails, and to them and the Alliance Party for the distress caused.

We will today be emailing all those who have received such emails and not opted out of email contact from Alliance overnight to apologise directly. We won’t be emailing those who have refused further contact, but hope they hear of this message, and accept that we are sorry for the inconvenience caused.

We will be restarting the digest system for subscribed users today, and in future (depending on their preference) they will receive a daily, weekly, or monthly digest of new stories added to the Alliance party website. Every email has an unsubscribe message at the bottom to allow recipients to either opt out of future mailings or adjust their frequency.

If you are not currently receiving Alliance Party email news digests and would like to do so in future you’d be more than welcome – you can sign up at https://allianceparty.org/subscribe-by-email

As I’m sure you’d expect, we’ve worked through what happened yesterday and put new checks in place to ensure it will not do so again. We’ve worked with Alliance for over 12 years and have enjoyed doing so, and never had an issue like this before. Again: we apologise to anyone affected by it.