A recent Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (“ACCC”)reports that Telstra Corporation Limited (“Telstra”) has so far refunded $9.3 million to 72,000 customers after it was found by the Federal Court of Australia (“the Court”) in April 2018 to have misled consumers in relation to its Premium Direct Billing (“PDB”) third-party billing service.
The refunds to affected consumers were as a result of court action being initiated by the ACCC – see ACCC v Telstra Corporation Limited  FCA 571 (26 April 2018).
In March 2018, the ACCC commenced proceedings against Telstra in the Federal Court alleging that Telstra had made false or misleading representations to consumers in relation to its third-party billing service.
The Court found that Telstra misled customers and breached the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) (“ASIC Act”) when it charged customers for digital content, such as games and ringtones, which they unknowingly purchased.
The Court also found that in 2015 and 2016, Telstra did not adequately inform customers it had set the PDB service as a default on their mobile accounts. If customers accessed content through this service (even unintentionally), they were billed directly by Telstra.
In his April 2018 judgment, Justice Moshinsky ordered Telstra to pay penalties of $10 million for making false or misleading representations about charges for digital content, such as games and ringtones - see [para 17]:
Telstra agreed to compensate consumers that had been affected by the billing issue. Customers who have since been refunded include those identified from internal complaint records and consumers who went to the industry ombudsman about the charges.
The(“SMH”) reports that:
Commenting on the current action, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said:
Speaking to the, Mr Sims was quoted as saying:
Thealso quotes a Telstra spokesperson as saying:
While at [para 84] of his judgment, Justice Moshinsky noted:
TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.
ACCC v Telstra Corporation Limited  FCA 571 (26 April 2018)
FREE legislation news, delivered weekly.
Sign up now.#WeLoveLegislation Tweets
NEW information resources - great for training.