Vodafone axes dealer for business antics

Summary:Up to 40 call centre staff for Sydney-based Vodafone dealer Communications Direct were sacked today after the telco giant got wind it was duping customers and severed the agreement.

Up to 40 call centre staff for Sydney-based Vodafone dealer Communications Direct were sacked today after the telco giant got wind it was duping customers and severed the agreement.

Closed

Boxes piled up as two staff remain after Communications Direct closed today. (Credit: Darren Pauli/ZDNet Australia)

Staff reportedly discovered the news today and were seen filing out of the Sydney offices on Castlereagh Street, carting boxes.

ZDNet Australia visited the offices, but a staffer did not wish to comment, acknowledging the closure with only a nod.

Vodafone confirmed that its relationship with Communications Direct was terminated on Friday "due to alleged business practices that breached the terms of its dealer agreement".

Fairfax reported that Communications Direct staff, following managerial directives, had mined customer information stored in Vodafone's national database to target sales to customers with expiring contracts.

They then terminated the original contracts by posing as Vodafone customers using personal information such as names, addresses and PINs.

This move had earned it twice the commission rate from Vodafone.

Fairfax also reported staff had forwarded customer details outside of the company.

Communications Direct

The former Communications Direct website (Screenshot by Darren Pauli/ZDNet Australia)

The website has been taken offline and calls to the office line have gone unanswered.

Federal Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim said the misuse of customer details by Communications Direct, including allegations that information was sent outside the company, will be considered in its current investigation of Vodafone, which is looking into the telco's staff selling log-in credentials to access the telco's national database.

"Although we are aware of what went on with Communications Direct, we are not planning a separate investigation," Australian Privacy Commissioner spokesperson Leila Daniels said. "It will be considered in the [current] investigation."

(Frontpage image credit: Axe in wood image by Brittgow, CC2.0)

Topics: Security, Telcos

About

Darren Pauli has been writing about technology for almost five years, he covers a gamut of news with a special focus on security, keeping readers informed about the world of cyber criminals and the safety measures needed to thwart them.

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