Rogers to pay $200,000 following CRTC spam accusations

Rogers (TSX:RCI.A) is forking over $200,000 following accusations it spent a full year violating anti-spam laws. 
Rogers has agreed to pay $200,000 following accusations it violated Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) | Photo: Shutterstock

Rogers (TSX:RCI.A) is forking over $200,000 following accusations it spent a full year violating anti-spam laws.

The communications giant sent commercial emails with unsubscribe options that either didn’t work or couldn’t easily be used by recipients, according to results from a Canada Radio-television Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) investigation released Friday (November 20).

The CRTC also alleged Rogers did not honour requests within 10 days from recipients asking to unsubscribe from commercial emails. In some cases, the electronic address used to unsubscribe from messages was not valid for the required minimum 60 days after the email was sent.

Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) went into effect in July 2014 but the CRTC said Roger continued to violate the new laws until July 2015.

Since CASL went into effect more than a year ago, the CRTC has taken action against four companies.

Quebec-based Compu-Finder was fined $1.1 million after sending commercial messages responsible for 26% of the more than 200,000 complaints the CRTC received.

Similar to Rogers, the other companies that agreed to pay up — Vancouver’s PlentyOfFish and Toronto’s Porter Airlines — were accused of not including proper unsubscribe mechanisms in their email messages.

A freedom-of-information request from Business in Vancouver revealed PlentyOfFish was responsible for 0.03% of the 255,000 spam complaints the CRTC received as of March 2015.

The online dating service agreed to pay $48,000 while Porter Airlines paid $150,000.

When told his company was responsible for 0.03% of the CRTC’s complaints compared with Compu-Finder’s 26%, PlentyOfFish CEO Markus Frind told BIV in July that“commenting on it will just lead to more trouble, so I’m not going to say anything.”

torton@biv.com

@reporton

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