Four-wheel drive and camping accessory retailer Outdoor Supacentre Pty Ltd (trading as 4WD Supacentre) has paid a $302,500 penalty for sending more than 83,000 marketing text messages in breach of Australian spam laws.
An Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation found that between December 2022 and May 2023, Outdoor Supacentre sent 81,698 text messages to recipients without their consent and 1,575 texts to customers who had previously unsubscribed.
ACMA member Samantha Yorke said Australians are becoming increasingly frustrated about receiving commercial promotions from companies without their agreement.
“Businesses have a responsibility not to send unwanted spam and also to respect people’s wishes when they ask to stop receiving these messages,” Yorke said.
In the 11 months prior to opening its formal investigation, the ACMA sent five spam compliance alerts to Outdoor Supacentre after receiving consumer complaints.
“The alerts serve as a warning that businesses may have compliance issues with their e-marketing systems, so it’s disappointing that Outdoor Supacentre didn’t take the opportunity to adequately address the problems before we had to step in,” Yorke added.
• The spam rules require businesses to have consent from consumers to receive e-marketing messages.
• Messages must also contain an unsubscribe function.
• When a business receives an unsubscribe request, it must be actioned within five business days.
In addition to the financial penalty, the ACMA has also accepted a three-year court-enforceable undertaking from Outdoor Supacentre, committing it to appoint an independent consultant to review its compliance with spam rules and to make improvements where needed. Outdoor Supacentre must also report regularly to the ACMA.
Yorke continued: “Any business that conducts e-marketing needs to follow the rules and the way you do that is by regularly reviewing your processes to ensure they remain within the law.”
“Outdoor Supacentre used a third-party provider for elements of its marketing processes, but companies can’t outsource their compliance obligations.”
Spam: The ACMA has fined companies $12m+ in 18 months
This action follows recent enforcement taken against other companies that have breached the spam laws, including Kmart, DoorDash, Ticketek and Uber.
Enforcement of the spam unsubscribe rules is one of the ACMA’s compliance priorities and over the last 18 months businesses have paid more than $12.5 million in penalties for breaches of the spam rules.