The ACCC has fined Amaysim Australia and Lycamobile pentalies of $126,000 and $12,600 respectively for allegedly misleading consumers about their mobile phone plans.
The ACCC alleges that each business separately misrepresented that their mobile phone plans were ‘unlimited’ in advertisements on social media designed to entice new customers, when in fact the plans had a maximum data allowance.
On or around 1 January 2020, Amaysim published an ad on its Twitter account which included the statement ‘…your mother loves the Unlimited Mobile Data offer from Amaysim’ and ‘#UnlimitedMobileData’, which the ACCC alleges represented that the Amaysim plans provided unlimited mobile data to consumers.
Similarly, on around 29 November 2019, Lycamobile published an ad to Facebook, referring to ‘Unlimited Plan S’ and ‘Unlimited Plan M’, which the ACCC alleges represented to consumers that these plans would provide an unlimited data allowance.
In both instances the mobile phone plans in question had a capped data amount, with charges imposed after the capped amount was exceeded.
The ACCC alleges that the messages in these advertisements breached Australian Consumer Law and were likely to mislead consumers.
ACCC Chair Rod Sims, said: “Consumers who saw the word ‘unlimited’ in the advertisements without any explanation of the limits of the plans were likely to expect they would not be charged additional fees for mobile data, no matter how much data they used.
“The telco industry has been previously put on notice that their advertisements must be clear and transparent, and must not contain claims like ‘unlimited’ without a clear and prominent disclosure of any qualification or exception which applies to the offer. We will continue to monitor mobile plan advertisements and won’t hesitate to enforce the law.
“The amount of data included in a mobile phone plan is an important factor for many consumers in choosing a plan, and it is important that consumers can readily understand what they are signing up to,” Sims said.