ACCC takes Netspeed to court over unfair contracts

The ACCC is taking Netspeed to court, alleging that its customers have been locked into unfair contract terms.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken ByteCard, known as Netspeed Internet Communications, to court, alleging that its customer contracts contain unfair clauses, and thus should be declared void.

The ACCC has alleged that ByteCard's contracts allow for the price to be varied without permitting the customer to then terminate the contract, force the customer to indemnify ByteCard in any circumstance, and allow ByteCard to terminate the contract at any time with or without cause or reason.

The watchdog is seeking to have the contracts voided under the unfair contracts provision of Australian Consumer Law, which came into effect in 2010.

ACCC chair Rod Sims said this was the first time that the ACCC has taken someone to court exclusively for breaching this particular provision of Australian Consumer Law.

It is not the first time that ByteCard has been pursued in court. In February, the Federal Court of Australia fined ByteCard AU$75,000 for failing to refund customers who had complained to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).