Exetel wants Telstra sorry ad

Exetel wants Telstra sorry ad

Summary: John Linton, chief executive of internet service provider Exetel, has challenged Telstra in court after it allegedly incorrectly listed the ISP as a "bad debtor".

TOPICS: Telcos, Legal, Optus, Telstra

John Linton, chief executive of internet service provider (ISP) Exetel, has challenged Telstra in court after it allegedly incorrectly listed the ISP as a "bad debtor".

According to Exetel's statement of claim, it wanted Telstra to atone for alleged misleading conduct by placing an advertisement in NewsCorp paper The Australian, which must include its logo and the wording as per the mock up presented below:

What Linton wants

Dear John, we're sorry for listing you
(Credit: Ben Grubb, Liam Tung/ZDNet.com.au)

The ISP lodged its statement of claim with the Federal Court on 2 March, over an alleged breach by Telstra under Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act, which deals with misleading and deceptive conduct.

Telstra had listed Exetel with credit reference company, Veda Advantage, over several bills it said Exetel had defaulted on — bills which Exetel claims are not legally its responsibility.

The disputed bills were the trigger for three listings Telstra made in 2008 with Veda — a service used by creditors to verify whether a credit applicant has any recorded defaults.

Exetel is not a customer of Telstra Wholesale; however, it is a wholesale customer of Optus, which itself is a customer of Telstra Wholesale.

In Exetel's claim it argues that the bills were not its own, therefore the listing on Veda's credit check register was false and the information Telstra supplied to Veda was misleading. The deception claim appears to be based on the fact that the information deceived Exetel's potential creditors.

The ISP has given Telstra 14 days to respond to its claim. Exetel has prescribed that the advertisement it wants run in The Australian should be at a specific size and feature Telstra's logo (also at a specified size).

Topics: Telcos, Legal, Optus, Telstra

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • LOL

    What about a sorry ad for all the people Exetel has booted off their service because they have become 'unprofitable'??????????????????.

    And please Exetel fanbois don't even bother because one day you will be booted off one day...........
  • Not a customer?

    "Exetel is not a customer of Telstra Wholesale"

    I think this 'fact' should be checked.
  • Happy TPG customer

    Yeah, I got booted from Exetel after they made a "commercial decision" to terminate my account.

    I'm now a very happy customer of TPG!
  • @LOL

    A commercial business cannot exist without profit.. You would rather Exetel become bankrupt by keeping unprofitable accounts? Think about it. You would lose your service eventually anyway. I was given plenty of notice by Exetel and changed to another plan, a few dollars more a month. I'm sure you had the choice to do the same.
  • No choice

    I asked them if I could change plans, they told me no. As I said, I've been with TPG now for about 6 months and have had absolutely zero complaints.

    I want to know what kind of business model they have where a user who uses the service within the monthly limits, does not download anything illegal and pays their bills on time can become "unprofitable"?
  • @Dean

    You asked to change plans and they told you "No" ?
    Funny, I found plenty of different plans at the time.
    And to explain how something can become "unprofitable" I will give you 1 example: compare your current electricity bill to last years electricity bill. The price of the supply has gone up, hasn't it? Eventhough you didn't do anything illegal and have paid your bills on time.
  • Yes, but

    The electricity company doesn't disconnect you when you become 'unprofitable'. Besides, in general, the cost of supplying internet goes DOWN over time, not up. That's why we have faster speeds and higher limits now than we did three or four years ago.

    Why was I the only one? Our company had a number of employees under the SAME account, why was I the only one they wanted to disconnect? Why didn't they let me switch to a different plan?

    Of course, I don't really care now. Obviously, I've stopped recommending Exetel to my friends and family, but as far as I'm concerned, that's their loss, not mine.
  • That's fair

    I had a problem with telstra like this, Reported me as a bad debt when I had no services with them. I say force them to apologise regardless. I really cannot stand the likes of Telstra.
  • Dear John

  • Dear John

    So John Linton cowtows to AFACT and Conway but wants an apology for this. I find it difficult to beleive this is a matter of principle. It is a funny time for him to grow a spine.
  • Bankrupt

    If they go bankrupt its basically their own fault..
    I was paying for a service and I was happy with their service until I received a termination notice...

    Sorry but its complete BS no other company does this to its customers....

    Why even offer a service in the first place and they cut the customers off at the knees.

    Gas and Electricity companies don't do this or any other ISP's don't do this.

    To hell with Exetel anyway if they can't handle their customers then they shouldn't be even in business...
  • Exetel is the worst ISP in Australia

    Exetel is the worst ISP in Australia & I have solid proof
  • Me too

    I was also booted from Exetel, after they made a "commercial decision to terminate" my phone service (after less than a month). This phrase is code for "you complained to the TIO about us". It has nothing to do with terminating plans; the one I was on is still available.

    I've switched to TPG...
  • What Proof?

    And yet you do not provide the proof. What a useless and unproductive comment.
  • Re: Pay Your Bill

    And that is the whole point about why Linton has got this all wrong. There may be some logical explanation why Telstra has the right to report a default on an Optus bill (may have something to do with the regulated manner that Telstra supplies access, may not), but it doesn't change the fact that Exetel didn't pay its bills or make arrangements to do so. I'm pretty sure that if Telstra didn't shop Exetel to a credit reporting agency, Optus would have been happy to do so - although Linton wouldn't have had an excuse to call Telstra "teh evil" for the umpteenth time.
  • No disconnections form power

    Of course you won't be disconnected from power if you become unprofitable, simply because there is no way, with the service fees and lots of other little fees the power companies throw in, that you could ever become unprofitable.
    Power generating prices also drop over time, but isn't it funny that our bills are always increasing and they keep trying to find new ways to add on 50c/week here and 24c/day there.
  • Afact

    Yo do realize that exetel has changed its response to AFACT demands right? Changed them in favor of its customers, not against.
  • Proof

    I can change dog poop into gold & I have solid proof.
  • Power generating prices do not drop

    That's not true at all, electricity production prices do not drop over time. The increased maintenance on plants as they get move towards their end of life ensures this. With water shortages across the country also ensure water cost is always increasing.
  • Do people still use EXEHELL?

    Do people still ACTUALLY use exetel? or is it their billing system that keeps trying to send out invoices to disconnected customers and they use that database to justify paying their execs like John Litton and his wife? Strange.....