Telstra has refunded a total $9.3 million to more than 70,000 customers it billed without their knowledge or consent following action by the consumer watchdog.
The refunds came after the Federal Court in April ordered the telecommunications giant pay penalties because it allegedly permitted and profited from a third-party billing service.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission had claimed a now-defunct Telstra process billed users for digital content without their knowledge or consent.
ACCC chair Rod Sims said the near $20 million paid by Telstra in refunds and penalties should serve as a warning to all providers not to mislead or deceive.
‘It’s clear a large number were charged for content like ringtones and wallpapers that they did not want, did not use, and had difficulty unsubscribing from,’ he said.
The refunds were only made to customers who issued complaints or contacted the telco, and ACCC says other misled customers should contact Telstra directly.
‘The ACCC is also conducting a detailed investigation into the third party billing services of other carriers and further enforcement action may well follow,’ Mr Sims said.