ACMA alleges Virgin Mobile spamming

Wrist slapping $22,000 fine accepted for alleged breach of the Spam Act

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)has accepted an enforceable undertaking from Virgin Mobile related to breaches of the Spam Act.

The undertaking relates to an 4,5000 instances of an email sent to Virgin Mobile customers in July who had ‘opted out’ of receiving marketing messages from the company and promoting the benefits of ‘opting in’, according to the ACMA.

The email contained three examples of then recent promotional offers and encouraged customers to opt back in to receiving promotional offers.

‘When you joined us you asked not to receive any promotional material. We totally respect that decision and you can remain promo-free as long as you like. To make sure you’re still certain about this choice, we just wanted to quickly show you some examples of recent offers that we’ve sent to customers...’ the message read.

In the enforceable undertaking, ACMA said it alleged that the email may have contravened the Spam Act as it contained an Australian link, were not flagged to customers as being a commercial electronic message, and had been sent to customers who had opted out of receiving commercial electronic messages.

Under the undertaking Virgin Mobile will pay ACMA $22,000 in settlement of the alleged contraventions of the Spam Act. It will also run a training program for new employees and contactors on the Spam Act.

“The key tenet of the Spam Act is that commercial electronic messages cannot be sent without the consent of the recipient,’ ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement. “An organisation must respect a person’s desire not to receive commercial electronic messages, even if it is just to ask if they have changed their mind.”

In recent times the ACMA has also slapped CommSec and VHA on the wrist for Spam Act related issues.

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