Telstra rapped by the ACCC for misleading iPhone ads

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 16 December 2014

Telstra has been fined $102,000 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for misleading consumers about the cost of its iPhone 6 plans.

Telstra placed an A3 ad in the Fairfax-owned Age newspaper in September, which featured a large photo of the Apple iPhone 6 and information regarding the cost of the Telco's phone plans.

The ruling released by the ACCC today said: “The advertisement for Telstra’s iPhone 6 and phone plan bundle prominently displayed the plan cost of $70 per month when, in fact, consumers were also required to pay an additional $11 per month for the iPhone 6. The advertisement only disclosed the additional payment of $11 and the total monthly cost of $81 in fine print.”

The ACCC believed that Telstra’s advertisement misrepresented the price of the phone and phone plan bundle to consumers.

ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “Consumers should be able to understand the true cost of an advertised product so they can make informed purchasing decisions,” he said.

“Businesses must be careful about using attention grabbing headline prices to ensure that their advertisements do not mislead consumers about the actual price they will have to pay. This is especially the case for bundled goods and services like phones and plans.

“Advertising that is clear allows consumers to make informed purchasing decisions and improves competition as it gives other businesses the opportunity to compete fairly,” Sims said.

The ACCC highlighted that consumer protection in the telecommunications sector remains an enforcement priority.

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