Telco Ombudsman Slams NBN Telemarketing Tactics
An investigation into telco telemarketing practices has found high-pressure sales tactics are being used to mislead consumers and small businesses into signing up to the NBN.
During 2018, residential consumers and small businesses made 1,729 complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman about misleading conduct involving NBN sales.
Threats of being disconnected from phone and internet services, loss of phone numbers, and inaccurate information about NBN plans were issues highlighted in the Ombudsman’s latest report.
The report found that high-pressure sales tactics were being used to commit consumers into contracts they either didn’t want, didn’t need or couldn’t afford.
According to Ombudsman Judi Jones, consumers are being told information about moving to the NBN that is simply not true and puts them at a disadvantage.
“This is concerning behaviour from a small group of phone and internet providers and should stop,” Jones continued.
“In some cases, we have shared information about this issue with the relevant regulators so they can consider further action.”
Industry body Communications Alliance is currently working with the regulator to address aspects of this issue.
“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,” Jones said.
“If the 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 Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman can help.”