TPG Internet Pty Limited (TPG Internet) has paid a $360,000 infringement notice following an Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation into breaches of the Spam Act 2003 (the Act).
The ACMA investigation followed complaints from consumers that they had unsubscribed from receiving commercial electronic messages from TPG Internet but continued to receive such messages.
The ACMA identified that TPG’s systems were not properly processing unsubscribe requests during April 2017. This meant that TPG contravened subsection 16(1) of the Act by sending SMS commercial electronic messages to consumers who had withdrawn their consent by unsubscribing.
‘Consumers have a right to expect that their requests to unsubscribe from marketing messages will be respected,’ said ACMA Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin.
‘This is a timely reminder to anyone who conducts email or SMS marketing to make sure the systems they have for maintaining their marketing lists are working well and comply with the Act,’ said Ms O’Loughlin.
Consent-based marketing practices are one of the ACMA’s current priority compliance areas for unsolicited communications. Commercial electronic messages must not be sent without the consent of the account holder. Consent can be express (for example, signing up to a mailing list), or inferred (such as through an existing business relationship). Consent can be withdrawn at any time.
The ACMA decided to issue an infringement notice to TPG Internet rather than commencing proceedings in the Federal Court as the company co-operated with the ACMA during the investigation, admitted the breach, and has taken steps to remedy the causes of the breaches.
If you receive a marketing email that you think may not comply with the Act, you can report it to the ACMA by forwarding the message to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can forward SMS spam to the Spam SMS service on 0429 999 888.
More information on spam can found on the ACMA website and on the ACMA’s priority compliance areas here.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Emma Rossi, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or email@example.com
Media release 36/2017 - 3 November