Monday, 16 July 2018 10:39

ACMA hits online tradie service with fine over spam

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Online marketplace Service Seeking has been fined $50,400 by the Australian Communications and Media Authority for sending SMS messages without consent, for failing to clearly identify who authorised them and for not including an unsubscribe option.

A statement from the ACMA said the fine was levied after an investigation into complaints from consumers about the company's marketing practices.

Service Seeking caters to those looking to hire local trade professionals.

"Businesses that use SMS marketing must make sure the recipient has given permission to be contacted," ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin said.

"In this case, the business sent commercial messages to phone numbers obtained from an online directory without the consent of the account holder.

"This is also a timely reminder that all SMS marketing must identify who sent the message and enable the recipient to opt out from future messages."

The statement said that consent-based marketing was one of three areas being targeted for compliance by the ACMA as far as unsolicited communications were concerned.

It said: "The penalties for breaching Australia’s spam rules can be serious for businesses. Where businesses are found to be breaking the rules, the ACMA can seek a civil penalty and/or injunction from the Federal Court; give an infringement notice; accept a court enforceable undertaking; or issue a formal warning."

Complaints about SMSs that could be breaching the rules can be made here.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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