ACCC takes action on misleading telemarketing practices following Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman referral
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has announced the commencement of proceedings in the Federal Court against Superfone for alleged false and misleading telemarketing representations, following referral from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman. Superfone sells mobile, landline and NBN internet services.
Between January and December 2018, residential consumers and small businesses made 1,729 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about misleading conduct involving phone and internet services delivered over the NBN.
The allegations by consumers triggered an investigation by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, which found providers were using misleading telemarketing practices to commit consumers and small businesses to phone and internet contracts they didn’t want, didn’t need, or couldn’t afford. The impact of these tactics was particularly felt by some older consumers. Superfone was one of the providers investigated.
Ombudsman Judi Jones said, “Identifying and resolving systemic issues is an essential part of our work. When we can’t resolve the issues with providers, we refer non-compliant telcos to the regulators for further action.
“I have said before consumers need to know they can make a measured and informed decision about which telco provider is right for them. If the consumer is feeling pressured by a telemarketer, it is fine to hang up. If they find themselves signed up to a contract they don’t want or need, and can’t fix the issue with the provider, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman can help.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For all media enquiries please contact Sarah Carnovale on 0437 548 540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman provides a free and independent dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses who have an unresolved complaint about their phone or internet service. Consumers and small businesses should contact www.tio.com.au or 1800 062 058.
The Telecommunications Industry Sector
The Telecommunications industry regulators are the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) http://www.acma.gov.au Media enquiries to 02 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or email@example.com and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) https://www.accc.gov.au Media enquiries to 1300 138 917, firstname.lastname@example.org
Government and the regulators set policy and regulations for the telecommunications sector.
The Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) is Australia’s peak communications consumer organisation representing individuals, small businesses and not-for-profit groups as consumers of communications products and services. http://accan.org.au/index.php Media enquiries to 0409 966 931 or 02 9288 4000.
The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging, and extend our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples from all nations of this land.