The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is taking action against mobile services provider, EDirect Pty Ltd, for allegedly, via telemarketing, entering into mobile phone contracts with customers who provided addresses in areas in which EDirect couldn’t supply its services due to lack of mobile coverage.
By doing so, the ACCC alleged EDirect engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and misrepresented the performance characteristics, uses or benefits of its mobile telecommunication services, namely that the services would work in areas where the service in fact could not work.
EDirect Pty Ltd also trades as VIPtel Mobile and according to VIPtel’s website has a Melbourne postal address.
The ACCC also alleged that EDirect accepted payment for its mobile telecommunication services from certain consumers, when it:
- Was aware or should have been aware that it wouldn't be able to supply the services within a reasonable time, or alternatively,
- intended to supply mobile services that were materially different to the services for which it accepted payment from those consumers, ie EDirect accepted payment from those consumers for mobile services accessible at consumers' nominated addresses, but intended to supply services that were not accessible at consumers' nominated addresses.
The ACCC has initiated legal proceedings in the Federal Court, Darwin. It is seeking: pecuniary penalties, injunctions, declarations, redress for affected consumers, and court costs.
The first directions hearing will be before Justice Reeves in the Federal Court, Darwin, on Tuesday, May 17.