Internet service provider unrepentant after fine

2015-07-14 19:33
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Johannesburg – The internet service provider fined R10 000 by a regulatory body for sending a spam e-mail was unrepentant on Tuesday.

"We won't pay the fine. And we don't respond well to threats either," Internet Services and Technologies (iSAT) CEO Rory Pearton said in an e-mail.

Pearton was referring to an additional R50 000 it would have to pay should it continue to send the e-mails.

He said his company was marketing a new product, and could send marketing e-mails as long as there was an unsubscribe option. 

It was advertising its “disruptive product” using various methods, including e-mails.

Pearton believed the individual who had brought the complaint was an internet service provider (ISP) who was “feeling the pressure”.

In a ruling handed down on Monday, the Internet Service Providers’ Association (Ispa) ruled in favour of the complainant, Frank Coetzee, finding that iSAT had sent him an unsolicited e-mail advertising its new product.

“It is particularly worrying to me that an ISP itself appears not to appreciate the unacceptable nature of this behaviour,” Ispa's independent adjudicator said in the ruling.

Coetzee, who is self-employed, offers a website-hosting service.

Pearton said iSAT ended its Ispa membership when the ruling was made, feeling the company was treated unfairly.

“Nobody from the Ispa has met with us, or offered to do so.

“There is no point in paying a monthly subscription to an association that then tries to bully you, and acts as judge, jury and executioner. Suspicions are then automatically raised about the impartiality of the Ispa itself,” he said.

“They do not add any value to our business anyway, so resigning was a simple decision. We all know that we have way too much bureaucracy in the way of business in South Africa as it is.”

In addition to the R10 000 fine, iSAT was given a warning for doing nothing to resolve the complaint and for not co-operating with Ispa.

It was also fined R50 000, suspended on condition that iSAT did not continue sending such e-mails after the ruling.

Ispa had not replied to a request for comment by Tuesday evening.

Read more on:    ispa  |  internet

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