Internet service provider fined R10 000 for spam e-mails

2015-07-14 16:16
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Johannesburg – An internet service provider (ISP) has been fined R10 000 by a regulatory body for sending spam e-mails to a private individual.

“It is particularly worrying... that an ISP itself appears not to appreciate the unacceptable nature of this behaviour,” the Internet Service Providers' Association (Ispa) said in its ruling, handed down on Monday.

Frank Coetzee, who is self-employed, decided he had had enough after Internet Services and Technologies (iSAT) sent him spam trying to sell its ADSL service to him. He filed a complaint with Ispa on May 22. He says he has "dozens" of e-mail accounts and is sure that at least three of them are on a spam list.

Ispa ruled that iSAT had to pay a R10 000 fine for sending an unsolicited e-mail. It issued a warning to iSAT 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 does not continue sending such e-mails after the ruling.

“The ISP responded that this is a marketing campaign that will continue to run. It maintained that its product is a really important product,” Ispa said in its ruling.

According to the ruling, iSAT admits sending out marketing e-mails and that the only way recipients could avoid receiving them was to unsubscribe.

“It gives no explanation as to where it obtained the addresses that it is using or indication that these e-mails are not ‘unsolicited’.”

In an e-mail to Coetzee, Ispa secretariat’s Bretton Vine indicated it was unlikely that iSAT would appeal the ruling as it had no longer a member of Ispa.

iSAT asked for requests for comment to be e-mailed to it.

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