Under the Spam Act 2003
, every commercial electronic message must contain a functional and legitimate 'unsubscribe' facility. This is an electronic address the recipient can use to tell the sender they do not wish to receive messages.
Businesses must make it easy for people to unsubscribe from electronic mailing lists. An unsubscribe facility must satisfy the following:
- it must remain functional for at least 30 days after the original message was sent
- it must allow the unsubscribe message to be sent to whoever authorised the sending of the message, not necessarily any third party that sent it on their behalf
- unsubscribe instructions must be presented in a clear and conspicuous way
- a request to unsubscribe must be honoured within five working days
- unsubscribing must be at low cost, or no cost, to the user (for example, in the case of SMS unsubscribe facilities, a 1800-telephone number would be acceptable).
Examples of unsubscribe facilities that are clearly worded and easy to use include:
- Email—'Unsubscribe: if you no longer want to receive messages from us, simply reply to this email with the word "unsubscribe" in the subject line.'
- Email—'If you no longer want to receive these messages, please click the "unsubscribe" button below.'
- SMS—'Unsub: reply NO' or 'Unsub: (1800-number).’
An unsubscribe facility may also be a link to a website where the person can easily click a button to remove themselves from a mailing list. Unsubscribe facilities must always be easily accessible, must not require the payment of a fee to the sender of the original message or a related person, and must not cost more than the usual cost (if any) of using such addresses.
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