Regulator slaps online retailer with $8000 spam fine

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Regulator slaps online retailer with $8000 spam fine

Best Buy Australia ordered to stop e-mails until it complies with the law.

Online retailer Best Buy Australia has stopped its electronic marketing following an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority into its compliance with the Spam Act.

The Australian business based in Punchbowl, NSW was not related to the US consumer electronics chain of a similar name.

It agreed to stop marketing electronically until it "has processes in place that comply with the legislation", an authority spokesman said.

The communications watchdog accepted an enforceable undertaking from Best Buy Australia and levied an $8000 fine against the e-tailer to be paid in instalments over six months.

In January last year, the authority followed complaints concerning commercial electronic messages Best Buy Australia sent that did not have a functional unsubscribe facility.

It found that Best Buy Australia used an automated e-mail system that failed to process unsubscribe requests.

And it found the business kept more than one marketing list and that when changes were made to one list, they were not reflected in others.

"This was a case of poor management of marketing lists," said authority chairman Chris Chapman.

"All e-marketers should take heed: list management is key to compliance with the Spam Act and contraventions such as this can easily be avoided. Anyone who markets electronically must have processes to maintain and keep their lists current and compliant."

If Best Buy Australia resumed electronic marketing it must establish training and quality assurance processes and a complaints-handling policy.

It was the second investigation the authority conducted into Best Buy Australia's compliance with the Act.

In August, 2008, Best Buy Australia paid an infringement notice of $4400 for sending commercial electronic messages without the consent of the recipient and after requests to be removed from its mailing lists were ignored.

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