Greater Manchester company fined by Information Commissioner’s Office after 64,000 spam text messages sent

A company that instructed a firm in Belize to send around 64,000 spam texts promoting loans on its behalf has been fined £20,000 by the ICO.

Munee Hut operated out of Eyebrow Cottage, a Grade II listed building in the south Manchester town of Sale. An ICO investigation, prompted by hundreds of complaints from the public about spam texts, revealed that 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.

The ICO reminds readers that companies must obtain specific consent from people confirming that they are willing to receive marketing text messages from, or on behalf of, the company, before they can be sent out. Munee Hut did not have this consent.

In addition to the £20,000 fine, Munee Hut has also been issued with a legal notice compelling it to stop instigating the sending of unlawful text messages. Failure to comply with this could result in court action.

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”. To read the ICO’s press release, click here.