mycar Tyre & Auto has paid a $1,047,000 penalty after it sent more than 1.7 million emails and texts that did not comply with Australia’s spam laws.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found that between January and August 2022, mycar sent over 1.45 million texts and emails without a functioning unsubscribe facility.
mycar also sent over 276,000 emails where people had to provide vehicle registration details to opt out of receiving further messages, and almost 5,000 messages to consumers who had previously asked to unsubscribe from electronic marketing.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said people could not easily opt out of receiving mycar’s commercial messages and this led to a significant level of consumer frustration.
“In one campaign mycar sent more than 1 million text messages that didn’t have an unsubscribe function,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“This is unacceptable, especially from a well-established national retailer.
“The action taken by the ACMA on this matter, as well as our recent action against the Commonwealth Bank, sends a strong message that we will continue to hold businesses to account for spam breaches.”
The ACMA has accepted a three-year court-enforceable undertaking from mycar committing it to an independent review of its e-marketing practices and to implement improvements. mycar must also provide regular compliance reports to the ACMA and train its staff on Australia’s spam laws.
The Spam Act 2003 requires marketing messages to contain working unsubscribe facilities. Making consumers log-in or provide personal details to unsubscribe is also generally prohibited. Once a message recipient has unsubscribed, sending further marketing messages is also against the law.
Over the past 18 months, businesses have paid $11 million in penalties for breaching spam and telemarketing laws, including a penalty of over $3.55 million paid by the Commonwealth Bank in June 2023. The ACMA has also accepted 9 court-enforceable undertakings and given 1 formal warning.
Consumers can make a complaint about spam here.
For more information on how to reduce unwanted emails, texts and phone calls, visit the ACMA website.