6 September 2012: The Federal Court in Darwin today penalised EDirect Pty Ltd trading as VIPtel Mobile $2.5m for telemarketing and ‘voice’ contracting with 350 customers from remote and regional communities across Australia who had no network coverage where they live.
EDirect made misleading and deceptive representations to customers that it had verified that there was coverage at the customers’ nominated address when it had not verified this, and when there was no such coverage.
This was repeat conduct by EDirect as the Federal Court gave Judgment against them in 2008 for telemarketing phone services into no coverage areas.
The complaint which prompted the ACCC’s intervention came from the remote North Queensland Indigenous community of Aurukun where customers were having automatic deductions made from their bank accounts for a phone service unavailable in their community. The ACCC’s investigation revealed EDirect telemarketed phone services through the Optus network.
You can read the whole story from the ACCC at http://www.accc.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1077699/fromItemId/2332