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Global Pre-Paid Communications & In Touch Networks


Media Release

Issued 17 April 2002-03/140

Commission concerned about activities of Global Pre-Paid Communications and In Touch Networks

The Commerce Commission is concerned about the activities of an Australian-based company, trading under the names Global Pre Paid Communications Pty Limited and In Touch Networks Pty Limited, following the commencement of legal proceedings against the company by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Director of Fair Trading, Deborah Battell, said the Commission is alerting people who see any advertising relating to Global Pre Paid Communications or In Touch Networks to be extremely wary about entering into any agreements with the company until the outcome of the Australian case is known.

The company has been advertising in New Zealand newspapers offering pre-paid telephone card vending machines for sale for use in 'exclusive' territories. Purchasers are required to enter into an ongoing agreement with the company to purchase the pre-paid telephone cards.

The Commission has received several complaints about the company from New Zealanders relating to misrepresentations about the nature of its business, including the level of potential sales and exclusivity of the territories.

Ms Battell said the Commission has been assisting the ACCC, which has commenced legal proceedings in the Federal Court against Global Pre Paid Communications, In-Touch Networks and several of their present and former directors, employees and agents, for allegedly breaching the Trade Practices Act.

"The company operates from Australia and is not registered in New Zealand. We are working closely with the ACCC," said Ms Battell.

Background The proceedings against Global Pre Paid Communications Pty Ltd and In-Touch Networks Pty Ltd relate to the marketing and sale of pre paid telephone card vending machines and distributorships and the marketing and sale of distributorships for the sale of Swisscom easyRoam SIM cards.

The ACCC is concerned about alleged misrepresentations allegedly made by some or all of Global Pre Paid Communications, In-Touch Networks and their present or former directors, employees and agents concerning, amongst other things, the level of projected profitability, location, support and maintenance in respect of the sale of pre paid telephone card vending machines and associated distributorships and the sale of Swisscom easyRoam SIM card distributorships.

ENDS


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