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BREAKING NEWS: ACCC Appeal Over TPG Prepayment Fine Print

The Australian Consumer watchdog has launched its appeal against TPG Internet Pty Ltd following the Federal Court’s decision to dismiss its case that alleged the internet provider had made false or misleading representation regarding customer’ prepayments’.

Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) Chair Rod Sims is alleging that TPG misled consumers regarding prepaid out-of-plan services, following the Federal Courts dismissal of the case, resulting in the ACCC having to pay out legal costs for the proceedings.

The presiding federal court judge did not accept the ACCC’s argument that TPG did not adequately disclose ‘prepayment’ arrangements to consumers, highlighting that a ‘reasonable consumer’ would take the time to understand contract terms before signing up to an internet plan.

As covered by ChannelNews, Justice O’Callaghan rejected claims made by the ACCC, concluding that consumers were not misinformed about the nature of the charges.

‘The information displayed on the TPG website is not fleeting or momentary, but may be viewed and digested at whatever pace the individual consumer chooses’.

Sims stated the appeal is based on the belief that the Federal Court made an error in its decision about this mandatory prepayment issue, saying that ‘consumer awareness of important terms should not be expected where they are contained in the fine print.’

‘We remain concerned that TPG misled its prepaid customers about their ability to use up their full prepayment and to obtain a refund of any unused funds when they ended their contract.’

The case was initially dismissed in October 2019, with proceedings beginning in December 2018.

A hearing for the appeal will be fixed at a later date.

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