10 September 2012: Fines imposed against Vodafone New Zealand Limited for breaches of the Fair Trading Act will total close to $1.5 million. Vodafone has been sentenced in the Auckland District Court on 21 charges brought by the Commerce Commission over marketing campaigns that breached the Fair Trading Act.
Vodafone was fined $960,000 in addition to fines of almost $500,000 imposed in 2011 for six other Fair Trading Act charges. Total penalties paid by Vodafone are $1,444,275 – the highest ever imposed on a single defendant under the Fair Trading Act.
The latest charges were in relation to advertising campaigns run by Vodafone from October 2006 – February 2009 for various broadband and mobile phone promotions including Broadband everywhere, Supa Prepay Connection Pack and Largest 3G Network.
In sentencing Vodafone, Judge Harvey described the conduct as “gross carelessness”. He commented in relation to Vodafone’s Broadband Everywhere campaign that it was “clearly false and misleading” and that it had done “significant harm”. Judge Harvey also noted that in relation to the Supa Prepay charges, Vodafone had not acted on concerns raised with the level of seriousness required, even though it had the technology and resources to do so.
Read more about this story from the NZ Commerce Commission at http://www.comcom.govt.nz/media-releases/detail/2012/vodafone-pays-hefty-price-for-misleading-consumers