Kogan fined for spamming customers

Kogan has been fined by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for breaching Australian spam laws.

The online retailer agreed to pay a $310,800 infringement notice and a court-enforceable undertaking after the ACMA found it sent more than 42 million marketing emails to consumers from which they could not easily unsubscribe.

The ACMA said Kogan breached the Spam Act, which requires commercial electronic messages to contain a functional unsubscribe facility. Kogan required customers to take additional steps setting a password and logging into a Kogan account.

“Kogan’s breaches have affected millions of consumers. The ACMA received complaints from a number of recipients of Kogan’s email expressing their frustration and concern with Kogan’s practices,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.

“Businesses must comply with the unsubscribe requirements in the spam rules. This investigation makes clear that businesses can’t force customers to set a password and login to unsubscribe from receiving commercial messages.

“The ACMA sent Kogan multiple compliance alerts before commencing this investigation. These notifications are designed to alert businesses of potential non-compliance with the Spam Act.”

O’Loughlin added that Kogan fully cooperated with the ACMA in the investigation and has since updated the unsubscribe function.

Kogan’s court-enforceable undertaking will last for three years, requiring the company to appoint an independent consultant to review its systems, processes and procedures, and to implement any recommendations from the review.

Kogan is also required to train staff responsible for sending marketing messages and to regularly report back to the ACMA on actions taken in relation to consumer complaints.

“This substantial infringement notice and a comprehensive three-year court-enforceable undertaking sends a message to Kogan and other businesses that the ACMA will take strong action for breaches of the spam rules,” O’Loughlin said.



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