ACCC Slams Dodgy Phone Ads

ACCC Slams Dodgy Phone Ads

CheeseSales.jpg If you’ve often had the impression that phone advertising is only just up the moral scale from the bloke flogging you a cheap TV set in the local pub, you’re not wrong. The Australian Competition And Consumer Commission (ACCC), normally a highly restrained and legally minded body, has received so many complaints about dodgy phone advertising that it felt compelled to issue a press release denouncing the “lack of clarity in phone service advertising”. ACCC chair Graeme Samuel didn’t mince his words:

“Complaints to the ACCC indicate consumers are fed up with getting charged more than they bargained for when the bill arrives, and getting less value than they were promised in the case of phone cards.”

What’s the worst example of deceptive phone advertising you’ve encountered? Share your shockers in the comments.


  • Optus charges international rates for calls to Australian mobile numbers when the mobile number is a phone-card service for international calls.

    Optus doesn’t have to pay any international fee to any other provider for that call – so they’re charging their customer for something that the customer has already bought from someone else (the phone-card provider).

  • The dodgiest ones I see regularly are those ones where you have to guess what colour a $10 note is, or offer you big prizes. The small print is that each message costs something like $2.50 and you get signed up to a $10 a week ‘subscription’. These are being advertised heavily on free to air TV right now. Unless you remember what the ‘stop’ command and number are, you could get yourself into some real trouble.

    The other one I think is a rort is the $6.60 ringtones they advertise on Video Hits. I’d hate to be a parent paying for my kid’s phone bill. That said, this is not necessarily dodgy so much as it is expensive!

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!