SMS Provider Penalised $85,000

  • SMS Global and company director fined
  • Used ESA logo without approval
  • Company was deliberately misleading

The Federal Court in Melbourne has imposed penalties totalling $85,000 against SMS Global Pty Ltd (SMS Global) and its Director, Carl Krumins for misleading consumers by falsely representing that it was endorsed by the government.

As mentioned here, SMS Global displayed on its website the Australian Government ESA logo containing the words “Australian Government Endorsed supplier” and also falsely represented in a brochure distributed at the 2010 CeBIT trade fair that it “is a Government endorsed specialist”.

Justice Murphy found that Krumins was knowingly concerned in the conduct and stated that “…SMS Global and Krumins were being, at least to a degree, deliberately misleading”.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission instituted proceedings against SMS Global, a company that provides standard messaging services (SMS) and multimedia messaging services (MMS) in Australia.

“The size of the penalty imposed for false claims of government endorsement is a clear signal that such conduct is viewed seriously by the Court.” said ACCC chair Rod Sims.

The Court made declarations relating to SMS Global and Krumins in respect of not only the government endorsement but also industry experience representations.  The Court also made an injunction restraining SMS Global from in future using the ESA logo and claiming a government endorsement that it does not have.

SMS Global was ordered to publish within 21 days a corrective notice on its website for a continuous 90 day period detailing the declarations made in respect of it and Krumins.

The company was also ordered to maintain a corporate compliance program until 30 April 2014.