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Nokia busted for dodgy SMS to customers

Spam Act breach draws $AU55k wrist-slap

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Nokia has fallen foul of the Australian Communications and Media Authority, incurring a $AU55,000 fine following consumer complaints over its SMS marketing practices.

The watchdog commenced an investigation into the vendor’s SMS marketing activity and found that Nokia’s text ‘tips’ delivered to handset users did not include details of how customers could stop receiving them, as required by the Spam Act.

“SMS allows businesses to reach their customers no matter where they are or what they are doing. But with that opportunity come responsibilities under the Spam Act, including the obligation to include an unsubscribe facility in marketing messages,” said ACMA Acting Chairman Richard Bean.

Following the investigation, Nokia Corporation has submitted to an enforcable undertaking which includes appointing an independent consultant to audit its systems and processes, develop a plan to carry out the independent consultant’s recommendations, train its employees engaged in SMS marketing about complying with the requirements of the Spam Act and make a payment of $AU55,000.

During 2010-11, the ACMA recorded a 370 percent year-on-year increase in reports from the public about SMS messages believed to be spam.

The stern slap from the watchdog comes days after the UK communications regulator Ofcom came down on Nokia and Channel 5 for failing to make it sufficiently clear to viewers that the TV company had taken the Finnish phone giant's sponsorship Euro, part of Nokia's Lumia 800 Windows Phone handset promo programme. ®

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