Virgin spam leads to $22,000 fine

Virgin spam leads to $22,000 fine

Mobile carrier also forced to develop comprehensive training programs

Virgin Mobile has been fined $22,000 and forced to extensively retrain staff after allegedly spamming customers who had opted out of getting marketing messages.

One of the messages that was sent read: “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.”

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) chairman, Chris Chapman, said the messages were unacceptable and constituted spam.

“The key tenet of the Spam Act is that commercial electronic messages cannot be sent without the consent of the recipient,” Chapman said. “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.

“Virgin Mobile has undertaken additional training of its staff and re-examined its email marketing process.”

Virgin is not the first major carrier to be hit with fines and undertakings over allegations of spam. In early 2009, Optus was fined $110,000 for breaching the Spam Act.

The ACMA has won several major victories against spammers. SMS spammers were re-educated in June 2009. Accounting software giant, MYOB, was caught spamming customers in August 2009.

The body’s biggest win was against spammers who created fake dating profiles to take advantage of premium SMS charges. In December 2009, the Federal Court in Brisbane fined them $22.5 million.

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Tags optusMYOBvirgin mobileAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

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