1300 Australia To Clean Up Unfair Terms And Refund Excessive Fees
1300 Australia has agreed to amend its current and future contracts to ensure that terms are fair, and will refund part of the termination fees paid by small business customers, following ACCC concerns about its practices.
The company sells phone numbers that also spell out words on dial buttons, such as ‘1300 POOL’, and is Telstra’s official ‘phoneword’ partner.
“We were particularly concerned about contract terms which permitted 1300 Australia to renew a contract without notifying the customer, to charge unspecified penalties for late payments and to charge significant termination fees,” ACCC Deputy Chair Mick Keogh said. “A small business could be required to pay a termination fee of up to 92.5% of the total contract fees if they cancelled the contract early.”
1300 has committed to reviewing previous complaints, refunding the unfair termination fees (which have been in place since November 2016), and implementing an Australian Consumer Law compliance program.
As part of cleaning up its practices, 1300 Australia has agreed to give customers 30 days of notice before renewing their contract, not charge more than $25 for a late payment and allow customers to terminate an agreement with 3 months of notice, after the initial contract period, at no charge.