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Virgin Mobile fined for pushing mobile spam

Ignored Oz opt-outs

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Virgin Mobile has been fined for sending spam messages to Australian mobile users who'd already opted out of receiving promotions.

The carrier was fined AU$22,000 (US$20,240) after it was found to have sent messages to mobile subscribers who had clearly stated their preference not to receive unsolicited text message ads.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) levied the fine after Virgin Mobile customers received messages containing an "example of recent offers" in a bid to persuade them that Virgin's spam is really tasty.

Whoever sent the messages therefore targeted customers who already said 'no thanks' to junk, an action that went down badly with regulators at the ACMA.

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

As well as agreeing to pay a fine, Virgin Mobile also promised to review its email marketing policies and provide extra staff training in response to the incident. ®

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