The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has initiated proceedings against telecommunications reseller Superfone for allegedly breaching consumer telemarketing protection laws.
According to the ACCC’s claims, telemarketers acting on behalf of Superfone cold-called consumers between June 2017 and December 2018 to offer them discounted plans on their existing network if they signed up to a new contract through Superfone.
Delia Rickard, ACCC deputy chair said Superfone allegedly breached Australian consumer law by insinuating the offers were endorsed or affiliated with their existing telecommunications provider when they were not.
“We also allege Superfone breached the Australian consumer law’s unsolicited consumer agreement provisions, which were put in place to protect consumers from these sorts of high-pressure telemarketing calls, and from signing up to contracts they may not understand,” Rickard said.
Additionally, Rickard claims that the Superfone telemarketers allegedly did not respect the 10 day cooling-off rights for unsolicited consumer agreements included in Australian consumer law, as salespeople are not allowed to take payment or supply services during the cooling-off period.
“We allege that Superfone’s telemarketers repeatedly told consumers they could not terminate the contract without penalty, and failed to inform consumers about their cooling-off rights, when these rights are enshrined in the Australian consumer law,” Rickard said.
Through the proceedings, which come under the jurisdiction of the Federal Court of Australia's Victoria registry, the ACCC is seeking a consumer redress order, penalties, declarations, an order for corrective notices and costs.
The ACCC is seeking a consumer redress order, penalties, declarations, an order for corrective notices and costs.
The ACCC has been successful in pursuing telcos for their telemarketing practices in the past with SME telco provider BVivid paying $25,200 in penalties following two infringement notices for their cold-calling practices back in September.