Optus has paid a $504,000 fine to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for breaching the Spam Act.
An ACMA investigation revealed that Optus sent emails and text messages to people who had already unsubscribed from receiving marketing materials between June and December 2018.
ACMA also found that Optus also sent emails that didn’t have a way to unsubscribe.
The Spam Act requires that “commercial electronic messages must contain a functional unsubscribe facility” and that organisations can reasonably receive unsubscribe requests from the message’s recipients.
ACMA chair, Nerida O’Loughlin, said the record fine echoes public disdain for spamming.
“This is the second largest infringement notice that has ever been paid to the ACMA, and the largest paid for spamming,” O’Loughlin said.
“It reflects the seriousness of breaches made by Optus and its failure to honour its customers’ wishes to unsubscribe, in some cases on multiple occasions.
“Australians find spam infuriating and as a regulator it is something we are actively cracking down on.”
Over the past 18 months, businesses have forked out $1,127,700 for breaking spam and telemarketing laws, according to ACMA.
Optus’ VP of Regulatory and Public Affairs, Andrew Sheridan, said in an email statement to Information Age that the telco is sorry for its spamming.
“We acknowledge the ACMA’s action and apologise to customers who received messages in error,” Sheridan said.
“We have committed to putting in place enhanced practices and systems to tighten the management of our marketing communications and will continue to work constructively with the ACMA on this matter.”
This isn’t even close to being the first time Optus has copped heat for messages it sends out.
Late last year, the telco was fined $6.4 million by the ACCC.
In a bid to lure customers to Optus’ NBN service, the telco sent out 140,000 emails warning that customers were going to have their services disconnected unless they switched to Optus NBN.
At the time, Optus once again apologised to “customers who received the mistaken communication”.
Mere days prior to sending out that batch of “mistaken” emails, Optus had been fined $1.5 million for sending more misleading emails.