Mobile operator warned for overcharging

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Mobile operator warned for overcharging

Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Lycamobile has been formally warned for breaches of billing accuracy rules that resulted in overcharging of some customers.

Between January 2011 and August 2013, Lycamobile's billing system did not always differentiate between mobile and fixed line numbers starting with '4', according to a statement from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). As a result, 12,596 customers were over-charged.

This breached the billing accuracy rules in the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, according to the ACMA.

Lycamobile self-reported the problem to the ACMA.

The problem has been fixed and compensation arrangements have been made, according to the ACMA.

"In this case, we acknowledge that Lycamobile acted quickly and proactively to compensate affected customers," said ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.

"Accurate billing is basic to so many aspects—the very efficacy of the TCP Code at one end of the continuum and smart customer care at the other," said Chapman.

This is the fourth time a provider has been found to have breached the TCP Code since its inception in September 2012.

Lycamobile's operations in Australia have attracted controversy in recent times. In February, the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation reportedly applied for the company to be wound up in the NSW Supreme Court, only for the application to be dismissed.

In May last year a Federal Court judgment ordered Lycamobile pay penalties for contraventions of the Fair Work Act. In 2012, ACMA handed down a formal warning for failing to provide accurate customer records for the Integrated Public Number Database Manager.

Lycamobile was contacted for comment but had not responded at time of writing.

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