ACCC alleges VIPtel Mobile telemarketing calls are misleading
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings in the Federal Court, Darwin, against EDirect Pty Ltd trading as VIPtel Mobile in relation to telemarketing calls for mobile phone packages.
The ACCC first became aware of the conduct when the Northern Territory Office of Consumer and Business Affairs notified it of complaints it had received through its Money Business program on Elcho Island. The ACCC and NT CABA worked together to identify the extent of the concerning conduct.
It is alleged EDirect telemarketed mobile phone packages into areas where there was no relevant network coverage whilst failing to advise prospective customers of the lack of coverage, provided consumers with misleading information regarding the costs and services included in the service plans in contravention of sections 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. It is also alleged EDirect accepted payment from customers in circumstances where they were not able to supply the service packages in contravention of section 58.
The ACCC also alleges EDirect represented on the VIPtel Website (www.viptel.com.au) that it provided Australia wide network coverage when this was not the case.
The ACCC has also joined EDirect's directors, Mr Vishal Gupta and Mr Manan Chopra, to the proceedings in relation to the coverage representations and acceptance of payment.
The ACCC is seeking:
- declarations that EDirect contravened the Act
- declarations that Mr Gupta and Mr Chopra aided, abetted, counselled or procured and/or were knowingly concerned in the conduct of EDirect in relation to the coverage representations and acceptance of payment
- injunctions restraining EDirect, Mr Gupta and Mr Chopra from engaging in the same or similar conduct
- orders that EDirect implement a TPA compliance program
- findings of fact
- a community service order for an educational broadcast on nominated indigenous radio stations and
The matter has been listed for a directions hearing on 29 August 2007 before Justice Mansfield.