An online retailer took a huge fine for spamming customers, some of whom went through “considerable stress” as a result.
An online wine retailer imposed a $ 200,000 fine for violating spam and telemarketing laws, with the regulator believing the company’s actions could put vulnerable people at risk.
The Wine Group, which operates under the names of Oak Road Estate and Top Drop, sent unsolicited text messages to consumers who had attempted to unsubscribe, made telemarketing calls to Do Not Call Register phone numbers after consumers had withdrawn their consent to receive such calls and failed to terminate telemarketing calls when required.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has ordered The Wine Group to pay $ 204,240 in infringement notices for violating multiple spam and telemarketing laws.
ACMA President Nerida O’Loughlin said that beyond intrusion into privacy, The Wine Group’s actions have the potential to put people in vulnerable circumstances at risk.
“We have received a number of complaints from people who have claimed that The Wine Group’s unwanted marketing has caused them considerable stress and frustration due to their personal circumstances,” said Ms. O’Loughlin.
“People choose to opt out of receiving marketing text messages and calls, sometimes for deeply personal reasons. The industry must respect those consumer choices “.
Ms. O’Loughlin said ACMA offered The Wine Group the opportunity to resolve its compliance issues before launching a formal investigation.
He said the company had been contacted multiple times and said the authority had received complaints from consumers regarding its marketing, but did not adequately address the issues.
In addition to the penalties, which have been paid, ACMA has accepted a full three-year executive commitment from The Wine Group, requiring it to appoint an independent consultant to verify its compliance with the spam and telemarketing rules and make improvements where necessary. .
ACMA will also actively monitor The Wine Group’s review and implementation of improvements, Ms. O’Loughlin said.
In the past 18 months, companies have shelled out over $ 3.5 million in penalties for violating spam and telemarketing laws.
ACMA also accepted 15 judicial pledges and issued six formal warnings to businesses.
“All companies are advised that they need to take their marketing compliance very seriously or we will take action,” added Ms. O’Loughlin.
Originally published as The Wine Group found more than $ 200,000 for spamming customers with messages, calls