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TPG Hits Back Against “Out Of Touch”, “Misleading” ACCC

TPG, which recently merged with Vodafone, has come out swinging at the ACCC, accusing the consumer watchdog of misleading Australians about the telco’s mobile plan pricing.

As reported in ChannelNews on Monday, the ACCC claimed that the merger between TPG and Vodafone had driven up prices on post-paid mobile plans across Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, with chair Rod Sims insinuating the agency was right to oppose the deal in a case it lost in the Federal Court in March of 2020.

However, TPG has fired back, with a spokesperson saying it has not raised mobile prices since the merger and claiming the ACCC used data that does not reflect what its customers are actually paying, including getting the numbers wrong on Vodafone’s prices.

“It has ignored the ongoing promotions for Vodafone and other brands, which are one of the main methods to provide customers with better discounts or inclusions.

“The ACCC has also not mentioned the aggressive pricing of handsets, increased inclusions, the billions we invest in our mobile network to enhance the service we provide, and our COVID relief measures,” they said.

Rod Sims, ACCC.

The spokesperson told ChannelNews that the commission’s comparison tables did not compare like-for-like plans; that it did not reflect actual advertised Vodafone pricing; and that it failed to account for additional plan inclusions, including 5G access and increased data speeds.

“The ACCC is out of touch to suggest that mobile providers, as commercial businesses, are not competing hard for customers every day.

“The bottom line is, we are offering better value and a better network experience because we’re able to compete harder for customers after the merger,” they said, insisting that Vodafone customers are also paying up to 50 per cent less than the ACCC quoted while receiving up to 350GB of bonus data.

“We have only been able to continue to offer these incentives because of our increased scale following the merger,” the spokesperson added.

This is not the first confrontation between the two: in 2018, the ACCC brought a case in the Federal Court against TPG, alleging it misled consumers regarding the marketing of some prepaid internet, home phone, and mobile plans; the Federal Court ruled against the ACCC in October 2019, with the Full Federal Court dismissing the case on appeal in July of last year.

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