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Telstra fined $102,000 by ACCC

Telstra fined $102,000 by ACCC

Penalty for misleading iPhone 6 advertisement

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chairman Rod Sims.

Telstra has paid a $102,000 fine enforced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The payment follows an infringement notice issued over an iPhone 6 advertisement placed in The Age newspaper on 27 September 2014.

The ad for the telco’s iPhone 6 plan and bundle featured a large image of the Apple product. It predominantly displayed the plan cost of $70 per month. The actual cost of the plan was $81 because customers had to pay an additional $11 that was only displayed in fine print.

The ACCC was of the opinion Telstra’s advertisement misrepresented the price of the phone and phone plan bundle to consumers.

The consumer watchdog said the infringement notice was issued because the it had reasonable grounds to believe Telstra made false or misleading representation about the price of goods or services. This was said to be in contravention of section 29(1)(i) of the Australian Consumer Law.

ACCC chairman, Rod Sims, said consumers should be able to understand the true cost of an advertised product to make informed purchasing decisions.

“Businesses must be careful about using attention grabbing headline prices to ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers about the actual price they will have to pay. This is especially the case for bundled goods and services like phones and plans.”

“Advertising that is clear allows consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and improves competition as it gives other businesses the opportunity to compete fairly.”

The ACCC said payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The body can issue an infringement notice where it has reasonable grounds to believe an entity has contravened certain consumer protection laws.

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