Company or individual details
- Axxess Australia Pty Ltd083 208 717
- Benchmark Sales Pty Ltd092 422 120
- Peter Edward Russell Slaney
- Stephen Vincent McGovern
Axxess Australia Pty Ltd and Benchmark Sales Pty Ltd operate as agents for various telecommunication service providers for the provision and sale of telecommunications services to customers and potential customers throughout Australia. Axxess and Benchmark engage in door-to-door and telephone sales with the objective of persuading potential customers to transfer their telephone pre-selection from their existing supplier to the telephone service provider for which Axxess or Benchmark is an agent.
Following the ACCC's investigation into the selling practices of One.Tel in mid 2000 the ACCC also investigated One.Tel's sales agent Axxess in relation to complaints from consumers concerning transfers to telephone service providers made without the consumers' consent or informed consent (known as slamming). Similar complaints arose in relation to the sales activities of Benchmark when it was working as an agent for the telephone service provider WorldxChange/New Tel.
The Federal Court made declarations that Axxess and Banchmark had breached sections 51AB, 52, 53(c), 53(d), and 53(f) of the Trade Practices Act, and injunctions restraining similar conduct for 12 months. In addition, Access and Benchmark and the directors Peter Slaney and Stephen McGovern have undertaken to the ACCC to:
- (i) engage an independent assessor approved by the ACCC to undertake a review of Axxess' and Benchmark's trade practices compliance training for Parts IVA and V of the Act;
- (ii) adopt numerous Australian Telecommunication Industry Forum ('ACIF') telecommunications industry consumer codes;
- (iii) pay a total of $60,000 to an ACCC-managed public education and awareness campaign to educate consumers about various rights they have in relation to telecommunication services; and
- (iv) pay the ACCC's legal costs (up to $20,000).