TPG customers that relied upon representations about TPG’s $29.99 Unlimited ADSL2+ campaign may now leave their contracts without penalty as the Federal Court has accepted an undertaking from the company following action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
“Customers who believe that they have been misled by TPG’s $29.99 Unlimited ADSL2+ campaign should contact TPG if they would like to be released from their contracts without penalty,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
On 11 July 2012, the Federal Court in Melbourne accepted an undertaking from TPG Internet Pty Ltd (TPG) in the following terms: “If a customer of TPG’s Unlimited ADSL2+ broadband plan notifies TPG that he or she was misled as to the monthly charge payable for the plan and indicates a desire to terminate his or her contract, TPG will permit such customers to terminate the contract without penalty”
Customers seeking to exit the $29.99 Unlimited ADSL2+ contract should contact TPG’s customer service department.
This undertaking follows the Federal Court finding that TPG’s campaign conveyed false or misleading representations because the ADSL2+ plan was only available when purchased with home line rental from TPG at an additional cost of $30 per month. The Federal Court also found that some of the advertisements, published between 25 September and 7 October 2010, did not prominently specify the minimum charge and were misleading for not disclosing additional up front charges.
The Federal Court ordered TPG to pay $2 million in civil pecuniary penalties, publish corrective notices, maintain a trade practices compliance program for 3 years and pay ACCC’s costs. The Federal Court also imposed injunctions restraining TPG from engaging in similar conduct in the future.
TPG has also undertaken to publish a corrective notice on its website and write to affected customers informing them of the Federal Court’s ruling that it breached provisions of the Australian Consumer Law through its advertising campaign.
TPG has appealed the Federal Court decision, which is scheduled to be heard by the Full Federal Court in November 2012.