Telemarketers have allegedly misled customers into signing up for NBN services, a report from the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) reveals.
In its report “Misleading telemarketing of NBN services” published today, the TIO found that telemarketers engaged in “misleading conduct” involving threats of being disconnected from phone and internet services, loss of phone numbers, and inaccurate information.
In a press release accompanying the report, ombudsman Judi Jones said “consumers are being told information about moving to the NBN that is simply not true and puts them at a disadvantage.”
“This is concerning behaviour from a small group of phone and internet providers and should stop,” Jones said. “In some cases we have shared information about this issue with the relevant regulators so they can consider further action.”
The TIO said it received 1729 complaints from residential consumers and small businesses between January and December 2018, in relation to “misleading conduct involving services delivered over the NBN”, and that complaints continue to come in this year.
Some complaints allege that telemarketers would:
- Mislead customers about who they work for;
- Suggest that a consumer’s current provider won’t be able to supply services once the NBN arrives;
- Make claims about “taking care of all registered businesses”;
- Provide inaccurate or unclear information about NBN pricing, the contract term or the expected data speeds.
“Moving to the NBN is not automatic, and consumers need to know they can make a measured and informed decision about which NBN provider is right for them,” Jones said.
"I welcome the advice from the industry body, Communications Alliance, that it is working with the regulator to address aspects of this issue.”