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Ombudsman welcomes enforcement action against BVivid for misleading NBN telemarketing practices

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman welcomes today’s announcement about enforcement action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in relation to misleading telemarketing practices about transitioning to the NBN by BVivid.

BVivid has paid $25,200 in penalties after the ACCC issued it with two infringement notices.

From October 2017 to at least May 2018, BVivid cold-called consumers and told them their internet services would be disconnected or they would lose their telephone number if they did not move to the NBN immediately.

Between January and December 2018, residential consumers and small businesses made 1,729 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about misleading conduct involving services delivered over the NBN.

Ombudsman Judi Jones said, “I welcome the announcement by the ACCC today of its action against BVivid. Our “Misleading telemarketing of NBN services” report explored investigations conducted by my office into certain telco providers. We found threats of being disconnected from phone and internet services, loss of phone numbers, and inaccurate information about NBN plans were the issues affecting consumers.

“Where we had significant concerns about a provider’s conduct and those concerns were unlikely to be resolved, my office referred the provider to the relevant regulators for consideration of further action.

“Consumers are being told information about moving to the NBN that is simply not true and puts them at a disadvantage. This is concerning behaviour from a small group of phone and internet providers and should stop.”

What do current and former BVivid customers need to know?

All former and current BVivid customers who, as a result of a telemarketing call, transferred their telecommunications services to BVivid between 1 October 2017 and 9 September 2019 should receive a letter from BVivid.

BVivid’s letter will allow former and current customers to contact BVivid to arrange for a costless exit if the customers believe they were misled during the telemarketing call.

BVivid has until 10 October 2019 to notify affected customers.

Customers who think they may be affected but who do not receive notification on or before 10 October 2019 should contact BVivid on 1300 833 177.

All other residential consumers or small businesses with issues relating to a service delivered over the NBN should first try to resolve the issue with their service provider. If the complaint remains unresolved, the consumer or small business can make a complaint to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman online http://www.tio.com.au or by phone on 1800 062 058.

More information on this undertaking is available on the ACCC website.

ENDS

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

For all media enquiries please contact Sarah Carnovale on 0437 548 540 or mediaenquiries@tio.com.au

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 media@acma.gov.au and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) https://www.accc.gov.au Media enquiries to 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au

Government and the regulators set policy and regulations for the telecommunications sector.

Communications Alliance is the peak body for Australian communications industry http://www.commsalliance.com.au Media enquiries to Sefiani Communications, (www.sefiani.com.au) 61 431 478 558.

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.