ACCC institutes proceedings against Optus pre-paid phone card company

28 July 2009

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court, Perth, against Prepaid Services Pty Limited and Boost Tel Pty Limited for alleged contraventions of the consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 in relation to the sale of their pre-paid phone cards.

Prepaid Services Pty Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus Mobile Pty Ltd, which is a member of the Optus Group of companies.

This matter follows recent Federal Court action taken by the ACCC against Tel.Pacific Limited and Cardcall Pty Ltd in relation to pre-paid phone cards.

The ACCC alleges Prepaid Services and Boost represented:

  • certain phone cards would provide consumers with a specified amount of call time when that was not the case
  • that no fees other than timed call charges would apply when in fact other fees were charged, and
  • that a rate per minute for calls would apply regardless of the number and length of calls made when in fact that call rate is highly unlikely to be achieved.

The ACCC alleges Prepaid Services and Boost have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made certain false or misleading representations in contravention of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC also alleges that Prepaid Services has been knowingly concerned in the contraventions of Boost. Boost does not have its own telecommunications services but buys telecommunication services through Prepaid Services.

The ACCC is seeking declarations that Prepaid Services' and Boost's conduct contravened the Act, injunctive relief, corrective advertising, community service orders and its costs of the proceeding.

The matter has been filed in the Federal Court's fast track list and is listed for a scheduling conference in Perth on September 14 2009.

Release number: 
NR 182/09
ACCC Infocentre: 

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