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DoorDash Fined $2M for Over 1M Unwanted Emails and Texts


DoorDash, the well-known food delivery service, recently faced a hefty fine of $2.01 million from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). They were penalised for breaking Australian spam rules by sending over 566,000 emails to customers who had already unsubscribed and 515,000 texts to prospective drivers without an unsubscribe option.

Why It Matters

This incident didn’t just hit DoorDash’s bank account; it revealed a big misunderstanding. They thought their texts to prospective drivers were purely factual. In reality, they were offering business opportunities, making them subject to spam laws. This slip-up shows how important it is for businesses to know the rules inside and out.

Understanding the Spam Laws

Spam refers to unwanted or unsolicited commercial electronic messages. In Australia, the Spam Act 2003 and the Spam Regulations outline the rules for sending commercial electronic messages.

DoorDash violated these rules by:
  • Sending over 566,000 emails to customers who had already unsubscribed.
  • Sending 515,000 texts to prospective drivers without providing an unsubscribe option.
The regulations require businesses to:
  • Obtain consent before sending commercial messages.
  • Clearly identify themselves in the messages.
  • Provide recipients with an easy way to opt-out.

How to Handle Spam – What You Can Do

DoorDash’s penalty stemmed from consumer complaints to ACMA about unwanted messages. If you’re facing issues with spam, know that ACMA provides clear guidelines and a spam complaint form to help you take action

Staying Compliant with Communication Laws

DoorDash’s mistake serves as a wake-up call for businesses. Compliance with communication laws is not just a legal obligation; it’s a reflection of a company’s respect for its customers. Here’s what businesses should consider:

  • Understanding Rules: Knowledge of the Spam Act 2003 and Spam Regulations is key.
  • Respecting Preferences: If a customer has unsubscribed, their wish must be honored.
  • Avoiding Costly Errors: DoorDash’s fine shows the financial risks of non-compliance.

Trust and Transparency

A company’s success depends on trust and clear communication with customers. Breaking spam rules and other standards isn’t just about fines; it can harm the trust customers have in a brand.

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji

Ahmed Khanji is the CEO of Gridware, a leading cybersecurity consultancy based in Sydney, Australia. An emerging thought leader in cybersecurity, Ahmed is an Adjunct Professor at Western Sydney University and regularly contributes to cybersecurity conversations in Australia. As well as his extensive background as a security advisor to large Australian Enterprises, he is a regular keynote speaker and guest lecturer on offensive cybersecurity topics and blockchain.


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