ACCC Warns Misleading Telco’s Again With New Fines For Optus
Australia (News4us.com) May 18, 2011
The ACCC has issued a total of 27 infringement notices against phone Telco Optus.
Singtel Optus Pty Ltd was issued and paid $178,200 in total for the infringement notices.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had reasonable grounds to believe that there had been a breach of consumer protection provisions.
In particular false or misleading representation by a company of pricing on goods and services.
The ACCC infringement notices were issued against the Optus advertised Max Cap plans.
Acting ACCC chairman Peter Kell said that all Telco companies must advertise their services in a clear and accurate way, to ensure they are not false or misleading for consumers.
“The ACCC has been keeping a close watch on the telecommunications industry for a while now to ensure that consumers get accurate information. This is another example of the clear message the ACCC is sending to this industry: get your advertisements right,” Mr Kell said.
The infringing Optus Max Cap plans were promoted throughout July/August 2010 through print and online adverts.
In the ACCC’s view, these advertisements were giving the general public the impression that consumers could would be able to purchase these promoted cap plans and expect to pay a maximum specified amount per month, when in fact the specified amount was the minimum the consumer would pay each month.
Mr Kell went on to say, “If you advertise a service as a ‘$49 Max Cap’ when $49 is the minimum that consumers have to pay, then you risk breaching the law by misleading consumers about the cost of the service.”
It was also stated that a number of the ads gave the impression that there were no restrictions to who a caller could call with their monthly call credit. This turned out to be incorrect as some types of calls were not included.
The 27 infringement notices at a value of $6,600 each were issued based on the number of published Optus advertisements and the various representations made within those advertisements.
Further information regarding ACCC powers and public warning notices are available on the ACCC website at www.accc.gov.au/notices
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