Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Record settlement returns $3.3 million

12 October 2006/055

Record settlement returns $3.3 million to Telecom customers

An out-of-court settlement reached by the Commerce Commission and Telecom will return around $3.3 million to customers after a billing fault saw them charged twice.

The settlement is the largest ever out-of-court settlement under the Fair Trading Act.

A fault in Telecom’s system meant that when customers changed call plans on their landline or mobile, they were sometimes charged under both plans on the day they swapped over.

Telecom accepts that it breached the Fair Trading Act when it charged customers twice. At this stage it is difficult to determine exactly how many customers were affected by the fault between 1 January 1989 and 30 May 2006.

Affected residential customers will receive an average refund of $1.25, while the average business customer will receive $2.45. Telecom will begin crediting current customers in November. Former customers will be written to at their last known address.

Commerce Commission General Manager Geoff Thorn says the settlement should remind businesses how important it was for them to monitor their systems and ensure they were working properly.

“Companies need to check and double check to make sure they are charging customers correctly,” says Mr Thorn.

“Customers may not notice small errors in their bill, or may not bother to follow up on them, but this case shows how small amounts can add up to very large sums over time,” says Mr Thorn.

“Customers must be able to trust that their bills are correct, and companies are 100% responsible for ensuring that their systems are working and their billing is accurate.”

Mr Thorn says in this instance an out-of-court settlement was appropriate because Telecom had identified the issue before the Commission began investigating, had worked hard to uncover the full extent of the problem, and were prepared to put things right.

“Telecom co-operated fully with the Commission’s investigation and we commend the company for taking responsibility, working to resolve the problem, and compensating consumers,” says Mr Thorn.

In the settlement, Telecom agrees to apologise to affected customers and refund the money they were overcharged. Once customers have been paid back, any money remaining in the settlement fund will be donated to a consumer organisation. Telecom also agrees to conduct an internal review and present a report to the Commission in July 2007 showing how it has fixed the problem and ensured it won’t happen again.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

I Sing The Highway Electric: Charge Net NZ To Connect New Zealand

BMW is turning Middle Earth electric after today announcing a substantial contribution to the charging network Charge Net NZ. This landmark partnership will enable Kiwis to drive their electric vehicles (EVs) right across New Zealand through the installation of a fast charging highway stretching from Kaitaia to Invercargill. More>>

ALSO:

Watch This Space: Mahia Rocket Lab Launch Site Officially Opened

Economic Development Minster Steven Joyce today opened New Zealand’s first orbital launch site, Rocket Lab Launch Complex 1, on the Mahia Peninsula on the North Island’s east coast. More>>

Earlier:

Marketing Rocks!
Ig Nobel Award Winners Assess The Personality Of Rocks

A Massey University marketing lecturer has received the 2016 Ig Nobel Prize for economics for a research project that asked university students to describe the “brand personalities” of three rocks. More>>

ALSO:

Nurofen Promotion: Reckitt Benckiser To Plead Guilty To Misleading Ads

Reckitt Benckiser (New Zealand) intends to plead guilty to charges of misleading consumers over the way it promoted a range of Nurofen products, the Commerce Commission says. More>>

ALSO:

Half A Billion Accounts, Including Xtra: Yahoo Confirms Huge Data Breach

The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. More>>

ALSO:

Rural Branches: Westpac To Close 19 Branches, ANZ Looks At 7

Westpac confirms it will close nineteen branches across the country; ANZ closes its Ngaruawahia branch and is consulting on plans to close six more branches; The bank workers union says many of its members are nervous about their futures and asking ... More>>

Interest Rates: RBNZ's Wheeler Keeps OCR At 2%

Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler kept the official cash rate at 2 percent and said more easing will be needed to get inflation back within the target band. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news