The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s battle against “unlimited” prepaid offerings for telco customers continues. This time, it’s Aldi Mobile that has fallen foul of the consumer watchdog. Ruh roh.
Medion Australia — the company behind Aldi Mobile — has provided an enforceable undertaking to the ACCC after representing that its “Unlimited Pack” provided unlimited use when in fact that wasn’t the case.
It turned out that while Aldi Mobile was offering an “Unlimited Pack” with one hand, it was presenting customers with the infamous Acceptable Use Policy with the other. We’ve seen these acceptable use policies with budget telcos before: Aldi Mobile and the now-defunct Kogan Mobile had actually implemented Acceptable Use Policies during their time, saying at one point that customers could only use several hundred MB per day.
Kogan Mobile left the market before it could run afoul of the ACCC’s crusade against “unlimited”, but Aldi Mobile lives to bear the brunt.
From the ACCC:
Between 14 September 2013 and 15 November 2013, Medion represented on the ALDImobile website that the ‘Unlimited Pack’ provided customers with 30 days of unlimited voice calls, voicemail, SMS and MMS.
The ACCC was concerned that these ‘unlimited’ representations were likely to mislead consumers. In fact, the Unlimited Pack was subject to usage restrictions outlined in the Acceptable Use Policy which meant that consumers were subject to daily, three day and 30 day limits on voice calls, SMS and MMS.
“The ACCC is concerned that some Telco businesses are making sweeping offers of unlimited services while concealing the true extent of the service in the fine print,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
The enforceable undertaking Aldi Mobile’s parent Medion provided the ACCC requires it to stop using the term “unlimited” and other behaviour for three years, publish a corrective notice about unlimited use within 30 days and work up a new compliance program.