ACMA Tackles iiNet And Dodo For Direct Debit Violations

Internet service providers iiNet and Dodo have both come under fire from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for consumer protection law breaches relating to direct debits. The companies were warned for not complying with customers' authorisation for direct debit payments and failing to cancel a direct debit authorisation within three working days upon request. Read on for the full list of charges.

Under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code (TCPC), telcos must comply with a customer’s authorisation when offering a direct debit payment facility. They must also cancel authorisations within three working days upon request and give customers at least 10 working days to check their bill before the direct debit transaction occurs. Providers are also not permitted to take credit management action in relation to a disputed amount.

The ACMA found that Dodo and iiNet failed to follow these rules on several occasions between June-September 2013 and June-August 2013, respectively. The full range of alleged TCPC breaches is included below:

The ACMA found that Dodo Services:

  • did not comply with a customer’s authorisation regarding direct debit on 12 occasions between June and September 2013
  • did not cancel a direct debit authorisation within three working days on seven occasions between December 2012 and September 2013.

The ACMA found that iiNet:

  • did not comply with a customer’s authorisation regarding direct debit on four occasions between June and August 2013
  • did not cancel a direct debit authorisation within three working days on three occasions between June and September 2013
  • did not allow customers at least 10 working days to check their bill before the associated direct debit occurred on 96 occasions during July 2013
  • took credit management action on a disputed amount on five occasions between June and October 2013

Following the investigations, Dodo and iiNet have both taken action to ensure direct debit related breaches do not recur, reports ACMA.

This is the latest proof that customers shouldn't blindly trust their telco to follow the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code. If you have a dispute that isn't being resolved, be sure to contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).


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