Telstra fined $50 million for treatment of vulnerable customers
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Telstra, to pay a penalty of $50 million for the unconscionable treatment of Indigenous customers.
The Federal Court of Australia has ordered Telstra to pay a penalty of $50 million for the unconscionable treatment of Indigenous customers across the Northern Territory, South Australia, and Western Australia.
The penalty is the second-largest fine ever imposed for breaching Australian consumer law, only behind the $125 million Volkswagen fine in 2019 over false representations made about their diesel emissions standards.
The decision was handed down after Telstra admitted to breaching consumer law in November last year, after selling phone plans to over 100 customers who could not afford and did not understand the plans. Some cases saw customers being sold multiple phone plans in a single day, running up thousands in data charges.
Telstra’s actions severely impacted customers, with many being targeted by debt collectors and experiencing significant distress and financial hardship.
The Australia Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) began investigating in 2019 after receiving reports that Indigenous Australians were being hit with exorbitant phone bills.
This comes just after Telstra was fined $1.5 million for not letting customers keep their phone numbers when switching to another network.Back to all blog posts