August 1, 2019
Threats of being disconnected from phone and internet services, loss of phone numbers, and inaccurate information about NBN plans are a major source of concern, according to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).
In its latest report “Misleading Telemarketing of NBN Services”, the TIO said residential consumers and small businesses made 1729 complaints about misleading conduct involving services delivered over the NBN last year.
The investigation found high-pressure sales tactics werebeing used to commit consumers and small businesses to phone and internet contracts they did not want, didn’t need, or couldn’t afford.
The impact of these tactics was particularly felt by some older consumers who don’t use the internet at home.
“Consumers are being told information about moving to the NBN that is simply not true and puts them at a disadvantage,” Ombudsman Judi Jones said.
“This is concerning behaviour from a small group of phone and internet providers and should stop.”
Ms Jones said in some cases the TIO had shared information about the issue with regulators so they could consider further action.
“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,” she said.
“If a consumer is feeling pressured by a telemarketer, it is fine to hang up.
“If they find themselves signed up to a contract they don’t want or need, and can’t fix the issue with the provider, the TIO can help.”
The TIO also issued this advice about how to manage a call from a telemarketer about moving to the NBN: