ACMA issues warning to Groupon over e-newsletters

Groupon has made several changes to unsubscribing to its e-newsletters following an investigation by the ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a group buying website Groupon a formal warning for sending e-newsletters to consumers without their consent.

The online retailer uses e-newsletters to promote its ‘deals’, with consumers signed up to multiple newsletters which were sent to them daily or weekly after providing their email address to the company.

The ACMA received complaints about Groupon continuing to send newsletters daily or weekly after customers had attempted to unsubscribe from them and only being removed from one newsletter, not all of them.

Some consumers were also not removed from the newsletters within five days, as per the Spam Act.

“The ACMA considered information provided by Groupon left it unclear what individuals were unsubscribing from. In the ACMA’s view, it was reasonable for individuals to expect they would be unsubscribed from all newsletters unless they were advised otherwise,” the ACMA said in a statement.

As a result of the investigation by the ACMA, Groupon has improved the wording on its website and emails about unsubscribing from newsletters.

It has also introduced an account management system which allows consumers to choose which newsletters they want to receive.

“Consent to receive marketing emails is not ‘informed consent’ if it is unclear what individuals are signing up to,” the ACMA said in a statement.

Follow Stephanie McDonald on Twitter: @stephmcdonald0

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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Tags GrouponspamSpam ActAustralian Media and Communications Authority (ACMA)

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