The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has begun Federal Court proceedings against Brisbane-based telecommunications provider, Startel Communication, for allegedly violating consumer agreement provisions in relation to telemarketing.
The ACCC alleges Startel engaged in contraventions of the unsolicited consumer agreement provisions of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), in relation to telemarketing of mobile phone services to consumers.
Startel is a subsidiary of mobile services company, Truphone.
In a statement, Truphone managing director, Alex Blinko, said, "Startel always endeavours to do right by our customers, over and above our legal regulatory obligations. Throughout the ACCC’s investigation period, Startel has cooperated on a transparent basis, and has used the ACCC’s observations and requirements to amend its processes, policies and performance. We look forward to continuing to work with the ACCC to bring this matter to a close."
Startel is alleged to have:
- Failed to inform consumers of their cooling off rights;
- Failed to provide consumers with a copy of their contract within five business days;
- Failed to provide consumers with contracts in the form required by the ACL; and
- Supplied services and accepted payments from consumers during their 10 day cooling off period.
The agency also alleged Startel misled consumers by putting terms in their contracts that were inconsistent with consumers’ rights under the ACL.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, a community service order, an order for Startel to write to affected consumers, an order for Startel to establish and maintain a compliance program, pecuniary penalties and costs.