The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has instituted legal proceedings against Boost Tel Pty Limited and Prepaid Services Pty Limited.

The ACCC alleges the companies contravened consumer protection provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974 relating to the sale of their pre-paid phone cards. Prepaid Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Optus Mobile.

The allegations include engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct as well as making false or misleading representations in contravention to the aforementioned act. Specifically:

  • Certain phone cards would provide consumers with a specified amount of call time when that was not the case
  • That no fees other than timed call charges would apply when in fact other fees were charged, and
  • That a rate per minute for calls would apply regardless of the number, and length of calls made when in fact that call rate is highly unlikely to be achieved.

In addition to these allegations, the ACCC believes Prepaid Services was knowingly concerned in Boost’s contraventions as Boost buys its telecommunications services through Prepaid Services.