iiNet has paid a $102,000 infringement notice to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for failing to adequately display the minimum price for a broadband plan on a bus advertisement.
The advertisement appeared on the back of a bus in Sydney from 20 February to 11 March this year.
The ACCC said there were “reasonable grounds” to find that while iiNet stated the total minimum price, the ISP did not prominently state the $1518.75 minimum price for a $59.95 naked DSL service.
However, the consumer watchdog said the fine is not an “admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law”.
“Businesses need to take into account the context in which their advertisements appear. If the total minimum price is not prominent or cannot be easily seen, businesses run the risk of being in breach of the Australian Consumer Law,” Rod Sims, ACCC chairman, said in a statement.
“This outcome is consistent with the continuing consumer protection work in the telecommunications sector, which is currently a priority for the ACCC.”
The ACCC said it is the first time a publicly listed company has paid an infringement notice for an alleged breach of the Australian Consumer Law.
“iiNet is committed to meeting our obligations of compliance under the Australian Consumer law. When advised by the regulator that our interpretation of 'prominence' was not adequate, we immediately took steps to rectify the advertisement in question,” Steve Dalby, iiNet chief regulatory officer, told Computerworld Australia.
“Although there are no specific guidelines in the law outlining what is adequate prominence, we have a comprehensive compliance program in place to help us meet this continuing challenge.”
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