TPG has paid $13,200 in fines to a consumer regulator "tired" of having to pull up telcos for misleading advertising.
TPG was fined twice for ads on its website pushing a broadband bundle plan that said customers would get "500 free VoIP minutes". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) fined TPG, because the fine print for the ad explained that customers would only get 500 minutes of free voice over internet protocol (VoIP) calls if each and every call was a minimum of 10 minutes, and made to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide or Canberra.
ACCC chair Rod Sims said that the telecommunications industry has been told repeatedly that the ACCC "will not tolerate misleading advertising, and is concerned that consumers are regularly still not offered transparent and clear information about the price, terms and conditions for their services".
"The advertising practice of fine-print qualification is one the ACCC is tired of correcting," Sims said in a statement.
The chairman said that the ACCC will take "an increasingly aggressive approach to send the message that this kind of misleading advertising will not be tolerated".
While the ACCC has often taken telcos and other companies, like Google and Apple, to court over misleading advertising, in this case, the ACCC was able to issue an infringement notice, because it said that it had reasonable grounds to believe that TPG had contravened consumer-protection laws.
It is the second time that TPG has been caught out recently by the regulator, with the Federal Court ruling late last year that TPG's advertising for its $29.99 unlimited ADSL2+ broadband plan failed to disclose that the cost of line rental was not included in the $29.99 price tag.