The Australian Communications and Media Authority has reprimanded a small Sydney-based communications provider for trying to trick prospective customers into signing up to its services by leading them to believe they were receiving a discount from their existing provider.
ACMA says Tele-Talk, which appears to be run out of a townhouse in the northern beaches of Sydney, was calling customers of other telecommunications service providers implying that they would receive a special offer, when in fact they were being transferred to a new contract with Tele-Talk.
Tele-Talk has received a warning from the communications regulator that if it doesn't comply with the TCP from now on, any further breaches could result in ACMA seeking damages against the company in the Federal Court.
In a statement, ACMA chairman Chris Chapman complained it is the third time authority has found a small telecommunications provider failed to take adequate care around customer transfer processes following telemarketing calls to prospective consumers.
“The TCP Code sets out what providers must do to properly obtain consent before transferring a customer’s service,” Chapman said.
“Providing misleading or inaccurate information in a sales pitch makes no sense. It’s a terrible way to begin a new customer relationship and, if you do obtain a customer’s agreement to switch based on misleading information, that’s no agreement at all.”
iTnews made repeated attempts to contact Tele-Talk through the customer care number listed on the company’s website, but these calls were not answered. Likewise, attempts to contact the company through its listed email address bounced.
Tele-Talk, which has been operating since May 2014, is not connected to TeleTalk, a similarly named Cairns-based telecommunications equipment supply company that commenced trading in 1992.
The latest case comes after the ACCC took legal action against Brisbane-based Startel Communication Co, after it failed to inform consumers of their cooling-off rights and did not provide a copy of their contracts within the prescribed five days.