Optus shocked over ACCC court action

 

Carrier claims pleas to resolve issue were ignored by regulators.

Optus subsidiary Pre Paid Services (PPS) has been called to front the Federal Court over misleading advertising on calling card products.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) alleged the company made certain false or misleading representations in contravention of the Trade Practices Act when advertising its calling card products.

The ACCC alleged that both Pre Paid Services and its reseller Boost Tel promised "certain phone cards would provide consumers with a specified amount of call time when that was not the case."

The two companies advertised that no fees applied to the use of the card other than timed call charges. The ACCC alleges users did in fact find themselves charged with additional fees.

Optus has expressed frustration with the ACCC's decision to take it to court over the matter. The carrier says previous efforts to resolve the matter fell on deaf ears.

"Optus is surprised that the ACCC has resorted to litigation given the efforts we have made to come to a resolution," an Optus spokesperson told iTnews in an email. 

The carrier said its subsidiary had "been in discussions with the ACCC for some months" regarding the allegations.

Optus claims the ACCC had not returned its latest correspondence, sent in mid-May.

Optus claims PPS had taken "every reasonable step" to remove the advertising the competition watchdog took issue with.

The ACCC is seeking corrective advertising, community service orders and the court costs as well as an injunction order to stop the Optus subsidiary and reseller from misleading customers.

The ACCC refused to comment, as the dispute was now a matter for the Federal Court.

The allegations follow recent Federal Court action taken by the ACCC against Tel.Pacific and Cardcall in relation to pre-paid phone cards.

Both cases found the companies were misleading and deceptive in the promotion of their products.

Prepaid Services and Boost Tel will have their case fast tracked for a scheduling conference in Perth's Federal Court on September 14, 2009.


Optus shocked over ACCC court action
 
 
 
Top Stories
iiNet facing new copyright battle with Hollywood
Fighting to protect customer details.
 
The CISO’s dilemma: Do you trust your partner’s partner?
[Blog post] How far down the chain do you check?
 
Microsoft confirms Australian Azure launch
Available from next week.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Do you direct debit customers? Read this
Oct 10, 2014
Authorities have been targeting direct debit practices with iiNet and Dodo receiving formal ...
Optus expands 4G coverage
Oct 10, 2014
If you rely on an Optus phone for work you might be interested to know that there are now 200 ...
Microsoft Office is now free for some charities
Oct 10, 2014
Microsoft has announced that eligible Australian non-profit organisations and charities can now ...
Vodafone lights up 4G in Adelaide
Oct 9, 2014
Live and work in Adelaide? Vodafone has switched on its 4G network in the city and suburbs.
Next year tradies will be able to take payments using ingogo
Oct 3, 2014
Ingogo is going to provide a card payment service for Xero users.
Latest Comments
Polls
In which area is your IT shop hiring the most staff?




   |   View results
IT security and risk
  25%
 
Sourcing and strategy
  12%
 
IT infrastructure (servers, storage, networking)
  22%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  15%
 
Software development
  26%
TOTAL VOTES: 300

Vote
Would your InfoSec team be prepared to share threat data with the Australian Government?

   |   View results
Yes
  58%
 
No
  42%
TOTAL VOTES: 113

Vote