This court case began way back in 2010, and it’s still not over: TPG has been fined $2 million in the Federal Court for misleading broadband advertising. TPG plans to appeal, but it’s a reminder that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) takes a very firm view on misleading advertising.
The case stems from TPG advertising an unlimited ADSL plan as costing $29.99 a month, without specifying that there was also a $30 monthly line rental fee and without making the total minimum cost clear. (TPG now offers that plan without line rental, but does charge the full $59.99 for it.)
TPG also copped a $13,200 fine in an unrelated case earlier this year, and the ACCC says it will continue to closely monitor broadband advertising. Chairman Rod Sims said: “The ACCC is committed to taking a hard line to secure a culture of compliance by telecommunications providers and improve marketing in the telecommunications industry. The ACCC will continue to take court action in order to achieve this.”
As Luke over at Gizmodo reports, TPG plans to appeal, so we haven’t heard the last of this. The lesson for consumers is clear: providers can’t conceal costs in the fine print, but you should always make sure you know the total minimum cost of anything before signing up.