Feeds

TPG hit with AUD$2m fine

ACCC takes action on tricky telco ads

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has again taken a local telco to task for dodgy advertising practices.

This time the offender is TPG Internet, which has has been ordered by the Federal Court to hand over AUD$2 million in civil pecuniary penalties for false and misleading national advertising campaign.

The ISP was found to have failed to prominently specify the minimum charge in the campaign and therefore was held to have misled customers.

TPG has also been ordered to publish corrective notices, maintain a trade practices compliance program for three years and to pay the ACCC’s costs. The Court also imposed injunctions restraining TPG from engaging in similar conduct in future.

Justice Murphy said the sizeable penalty was “necessary to make it clear to TPG and to the market that the cost of risking a contravention cannot be regarded as merely an acceptable cost of business”.

These orders follow the Federal Court finding that TPG’s $29.99 Unlimited ADSL2+ campaign was false and misleading as the plan was only available when purchased with home line rental from TPG. Earlier TPG advertisements were also found to have failed to specify the minimum charge and were misleading for not disclosing additional up front charges.

“This decision should send a strong warning to telecommunications and internet providers that they cannot continue to take risks in their advertising or they could end up in court and be exposed to substantial penalties,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

TPG is no stranger to the ACCC’s watch as in March 2012 it was hit with fines of $13,200 in relation to advertising of a ‘free 500 VoIP minutes’ offer.

“The ACCC is committed to taking a hard line to secure a culture of compliance by telecommunications providers and improve marketing in the telecommunications industry,” Sims warned.

In other recent telco misdemeanours, Dodo was fined in January 2011 for $26,400 in relation to pricing of its ‘unlimited’ broadband plans, in May Optus was fined $178,200 in relation to its ‘Max Cap’ plan advertising and in March the Full Federal Court also imposed a pecuniary penalty of $3.61 million on appeal, finding that Optus engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the speed of broadband plans. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.