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Dodo fined by ACCC for misleading ads

Dodo fined by ACCC for misleading ads

Telco forced to pay $26,400 in fines for ads with extra costs in the fine print

Internet service provider, Dodo Australia, has been hit by $26,400 worth of fines by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for making false or misleading representation about its broadband plans.

Four infringement notices worth $6600 each were issued by the ACCC on December 21, 2010, in response to Dodo’s “Unlimited ADSL2+ broadband plan” advertisements. These were published on TV, radio, billboards and on websites from August to October 2010.

According to the ACCC, the ads told customers they could purchase the service on its own for $39.90 per month when they actually needed to purchase a home telephone plan as well. This brought the minimum monthly spend up to $69.80.

This breached section 53(e) of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

“To prominently advertise the price of only one component and bury the total bundled price in the fine print is misleading,” ACCC acting chairman, Michael Schaper, said. “When advertising services which are paid on a periodic basis, traders should appropriately disclose the total periodic cost so that consumers understand their payment obligations.”

It’s not the first time Dodo has been hit with fines from regulatory bodies. In 2008, the telco paid $147,400 to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for illegally calling 67 telephone numbers listed on the Do Not Call register.

In May 2010, Dodo was given last place and a 58 per cent customer satisfaction rating in a survey by Internet comparison website, Broadband Expert.

Unlimited broadband plan ads also landed rival telco, Optus, in hot water last year. The ACCC first took it to court in June 2010 for “unlimited” plan ads before launching another Federal Court case in September 2010 for “Supersonic Broadband” ads.

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Tags optusacccdodoAustralian Competition and Consumer CommissionTrade Practices Act 1974

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