The ACCC has announced its appealing the courts decision to drop its allegations against TPG. The consumer authority argues the telco made false and misleading claims about its pre-paid internet, home telephone and mobile plans resulting in TPG retaining millions of dollars from customers.
Earlier this afternoon the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announced that it will be opposing the merge between Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) and TPG. The two companies were quick to respond, stating their intention to take the matter up in Federal Court.Read more
It’s to do with its ‘prepayment’ system, which sees customers of TPG’s personal mobile, home telephone and internet plans paying a sum of at least $20 to cover the value of “potential usage outside what is included in their plans”, part of which is not refunded.
This means when a customer’s balance drops below $10, an automatic top up is triggered bringing it back up to $20. If a customer cancels their plan, TPG allegedly holds on to $10, meaning they’ll never get that sum back.
But the ACCC is insisting it believes it had allegedly misled customers to hold on to at least $10 by not disclosing it and it’s appealing the court’s decision in order to prove it.
“We alleged that by representing this was a ‘prepayment’, consumers were misled by TPG into thinking they could use all the money they had prepaid for out-of-plan services, when this was not usually possible,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a media release.
“We are appealing from this decision because we believe the Court made an error in deciding that TPG’s representations about this mandatory prepayment were not false or misleading.
“We remain concerned that TPG misled its prepaid customers about their ability to use up their full prepayment and to obtain a refund of any unused funds when they ended their contract.”
The allegations go all the way back to 2013 and the ACCC believes it’s resulted in millions of dollars. A new court date will be set in the coming months.
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to TPG for comment and will update once it responds.
The ACCC has began proceedings against Google alleging it had misled Australian customers over the data it collects, keeps and uses.Read more