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ACMA Fines Virgin Mobile of Australia for Spam E-mails

Following an investigation by ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) into the case of Virgin Mobile of Australia sending certain types of e-mails to its customers, the mobile company has agreed to commence with quality assurance procedures, fresh training programs as well as an audit system.

It (Virgin Mobile) has also agreed that it would pay $22,000 in fine to the ACMA.
Here, it's worth noting that the ACMA looks after the implementation of the Spam Act 2003, and so proactively functions towards combating the spam menace across Australia.

In the meantime, the investigation carried on by ACMA disclosed that even after the customers of Virgin Mobile opted for non-receipt of the company's marketing e-mails, they continued to receive the e-mails.

The e-mails, persuading consumers to 'opt in' because they were apparently beneficial, stated that the company fully respected its customers' decision not to get any marketing content. Consequently, the users could refrain from marketing e-mails for any length of time.

The messages further stated that to ensure that the recipients still stuck to the decision, Virgin Mobile only wished to cite a few instances of newly made offers it dispatched to its subscribers.

Chris Chapman, Chairman of ACMA, said that the e-mails exhibited a commercial intent. Moreover, they were distributed without taking the permission of their recipients who also didn't find a choice for unsubscribing, according to a statement published by Smh.com.au on March 18, 2010.

Actually, the whole procedure with respect to the e-mails flouted the Spam Act. Evidently, the Spam Act 2003 considers it illegal to dispatch unsolicited, commercial e-mails or create reasons for their dispatch, in Australia. Besides the other modes of communication, the Act covers e-mail.

Hence, according to ACMA, the e-mails coming to the customers were in fact spam e-mails.

Remarking about this way of someone not complying with the law of the country, Chapman said that companies must heed to an individual's wish not to get marketing e-mails, despite the purpose being only to inquire if the subscriber has changed the mind.

Eventually, specialists stated that in case anyone had a grievance regarding spam e-mails, he could contact the ACMA at its helpdesk phone numbers. Alternatively, he could visit its website and lodge the complaint.

Related article: ACMA Unleashes SpamMATTERS - the New anti-spam Button

» SPAMfighter News - 3/27/2010

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