Utel Networks pays infringement notices for misleading consumers

From the ACCC:  Utel Networks Pty Ltd has paid three infringement notices, totalling $19,800, and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the Australian Competition and Conmsumer Commission (ACCC) for misrepresentations made by them to customers through their telemarketing activities.

Utel Networks provides a number of telecommunications services, and markets these services through a Phillipines-based subsidiary.

Utel Networks telemarketers represented to consumers that:

  • Utel Networks was affiliated or associated with the consumer’s existing telecommunications provider, when this was not the case; and
  • the quality of the consumer’s telecommunications service would not change upon being transferred to Utel from a rival provider (including any existing contractual or billing arrangements), when this was not the case

In aaddition, Utel Networks failed to provide consumers with an agreement that clearly informed consumers of their cooling off rights.

The ACCC considered that Utel Networks’ conduct resulted in consumers having their telecommunications services transferred to Utel in circumstances where the consumer did not intend such a transfer to occur.  The ACCC further alleged that Utel’s conduct also led to consumers incurring additional charges that they did not agree to, delays in reversing the transfer and loss of any discounts associated with bundling services.

Says ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court:

“The ACCC will continue to hold companies responsible for what is said or done by their authorised representatives. Lack of oversight by businesses will not be accepted as a valid excuse for misleading consumers … These practices affect consumers and competitors alike by creating an unfair advantage and will be taken very seriously by the ACCC.”

You can read more from the ACCC here.

Contact Matthew Nicholls (ph: +61 3 8376 7131) to discuss your requirements.