A Manchester-based firm that hired an outfit in the central American country of Belize to send around 64,000 spam texts promoting loans has been fined £20,000.
Munee Hut operated out of Eyebrow Cottage, a Grade II listed building in the south Manchester town of Sale.
An Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigation, prompted by hundreds of complaints from the public about the spam texts, revealed Munee Hut had obtained the personal details used to send the messages from a variety of loan and prize draw websites. None of these sites indicated the data would be used for sending marketing text messages from Munee Hut.
Marketeers are legally obliged to obtain specific consent from people confirming they are willing to receive marketing text messages from, or on behalf of, their firm. Munee Hut failed to gain this consent.
Steve Eckersley, ICO Head of Enforcement, said: “Paying an overseas company to send text messages for you is not a get-out for failing to comply with the law. Munee Hut should have taken responsibility for ensuring that proper and specific consent to send the messages had been obtained.”
In addition to the £20,000 fine, Munee Hut has also been issued with a legal notice compelling it to desist from unlawful text messages. Failure to comply with this could result in court action. ®