Feeds

Bank slapped for beating up small biz

Regulator tells it to be reasonable

The essential guide to IT transformation

The Aussie competition regulator has slammed Macquarie Bank for suing hundreds of small businesses caught up in a series of apparent telco-bundling frauds.

The bank had been a big financier of various firms which offer businesses bundled deals - sign up to a telecoms deal and get a free TV or laptop.

But in many cases people were unaware they were actually signing up to multi-year rental agreements, often with a separate finance company.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said it was not impressed by Macquarie's reaction.

ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel said: "I have to say to you this is a source of great disappointment to us. I'd like to think that when the chairman of the ACCC approaches the CEO of a major organisation like this and says, 'based on all my own commercial experience and based on what we believe at the ACCC is a fair and reasonable way forward', that they'd listen to it and react receptively."

Samuel told Aussie current affairs programme ABC1's Four Corners that the regulator was investigating hundreds of complaints of similar dodgy deals.

Four Corners found evidence of doctored contracts charging people for hardware they had not ordered nor asked for, forged signatures or signatures that had been transposed from one document to another and even evidence of finance companies having set up direct debits using forged documents.

A subsidiary of Macquarie has sued 300 businesses for missing payments relating to the dodgy deals.

Some customers have signed up to multi-year deals only to find that the telco provider goes bust, leaving them paying off the hardware bill with no hope of receiving services.

Samuel added: "I think it is very clear though that the finance companies would have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realise in many of these cases that what they're dealing with is companies that are engaging in a course of conduct that is potentially misleading small business consumers."

Samuel said he'd spoken to CEOs at Macquarie, Cisco Systems and Capital Finance. All three had turned down his request to stop aggressively pursuing the contracts, he said. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.