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Debt collection false misleading and unconscionable conduct by Excite Mobile

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 court found;
  • 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.

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