It’s the second-largest fine ever issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, with the largest being a $510,000 fine paid by Telstra in 2014.
The authority’s chair Nerida O’Loughlin said on Friday marketers needed to respect people’s wishes to unsubscribe.
Optus was also caught sending people fake bills, with no options to unsubscribe.
“Australians find spam infuriating and as a regulator it is something we are actively cracking down on,” Ms O’Loughlin said.
“(The fine) reflects the seriousness of breaches made by Optus and its failure to honour its customers’ wishes.”
The telco will also appoint an independent consultant to make sure it was complying with spam laws.
O’Loughlin said the authority would be watching and could take Optus to court if it did not comply.
Optus regulatory vice president Andrew Sheridan acknowledged the authority’s actions and apologised to customers “who received the messages in error”.
“We have committed to putting in place enhanced practices and systems to tighten the management of our marketing communications,” he said.
The watchdog has raked in more than $1 million in fines over the last 18 months due to the breaking of spam and telemarketing laws.
Telstra’s 2014 fine was for failing to connect customers with phone lines on time.
Corporate offenders caught repeatedly breaking spam laws could face penalties of up to $2.1 million a day, the authority said.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
InDaily has changed the way we receive comments. Go here for an explanation.
Local News Matters
Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to contribute to InDaily.