Source: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The ACCC has accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from telco provider BVivid Pty Ltd (BVivid) for making telemarketing calls to consumers in areas transitioning to the NBN that BVivid has admitted likely breached the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
BVivid also paid $25,200 in penalties after the ACCC issued it with two infringement notices.
From October 2017 to at least May 2018, BVivid cold-called consumers and told them their internet services would be disconnected or they would lose their telephone number if they did not move to the NBN immediately.
“BVivid’s calls likely misled consumers and gave them a false sense of urgency and need,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“Consumers generally have 18 months from when the NBN becomes available in their area to switch before being at risk of disconnection.”
BVivid also admitted that it likely breached the unsolicited consumer agreement protections in the ACL when it supplied services within the 10 business day cooling-off period and failed to give consumers an official form they could use to terminate the contract.
BVivid’s business address, which it was legally required to include in its agreements, was also missing.
“The unsolicited consumer agreement provisions are designed to protect consumers from being pressured by cold-calling telemarketers into signing up to contracts they may not understand,” Ms Court said.
“We are of the view that BVivid did not meet all their obligations to consumers who were subjected to their unsolicited marketing practices.”
“Consumers who find themselves signed up to a contract as a result of unsolicited marketing can cancel their contract without penalty within 10 business days of signing without needing to provide a reason,” Ms Court said.
As part of the commitments in the undertaking, BVivid will contact all affected consumers and offer to release them from their contracts without charge and refund any termination fees already paid.
The undertaking is available on the ACCC’s public register at BVivid Pty Ltd.
Notes to editors
The payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law. The ACCC can issue an infringement notice if it has reasonable grounds to believe a person or a business has contravened certain consumer protection laws
The Australian Government’s national Do Not Call Register allows consumers to list their home, personal mobile or fax number to reduce telemarketing calls.
BVivid is telecommunications provider offering telephone, broadband and NBN services. Its NBN & telephone bundles range from $79.95 to $115.95 a month.
BVivid makes unsolicited sales calls to consumers in an NBN ready area to offer them NBN service plans.