Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - Posted by Philip Harvey
Excite mobile has been found by the Federal Court to have engaged in
false and misleading and unconscionable conduct in providing mobile
phone services in Australia. The action was brought by the ACCC. The
- Excite Mobile created a fictional complaints handling
organisation called "Telecommunications Industry Complaints". This
deceived customers into believing complaints were being handled by an
independent organisation when they were not.
- Excite Mobile sent over 1,000 debt collection letters
falsely representing the letters were from independent debt collector
Jerry Hastings, when no such debt collector existed.
- The telephone number on the debt collection letters was
answered by associates of Excite Mobile claiming to be Jerry Hastings
office. Customers were then induced to pay.
- False representations were made on these letters about
the rights and remedies available in the event legal proceedings were
commenced, including requiring the customer to pay an additional 20% in
the event of late payments and threatening repossession of all assets of
value including children's toys.
The ACCC is seeking injunctions, pecuniary
penalties, orders for findings of fact pursuant to the Trade Practices
Act (Competition and Consumer Act) and costs.