Virgin Mobile busted for spam breach

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced that it has received an enforceable undertaking from Virgin Mobile Australia, after an investigation proved the telco was in breach of the Spam Act.

According to the ACMA, Virgin Mobile Australia was being investigated for sending emails to customers who had already opted out of its marketing services. The company reportedly sent messages to customers about the benefits of opting back in for Virgin Mobile services.

Here is an example of the message that was sent out to consumers:

“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 ACMA came to the conclusion that this message was in breach of the Spam Act because it was sent to consumers without consent and without an unsubscribe facility.

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

“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.”

Chapman said that Virgin Mobile has offered to pay $22,000 to develop comprehensive training programs, quality assurance processes and an auditing regime.

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

“This undertaking serves to consolidate the work that Virgin Mobile has already started.”

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