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ACCC launches deceptive advertising action against internet provider Activ8me

Internet provider Activ8me has been taken to Federal Court by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission over the advertising of its broadband services.

Activ8me was fined $12,600 earlier this year for misusing the ACCC’s logo, making it the latest ISP to fall foul of the regulator since commissioner Rod Sims warned the telco industry about its “poor” and “unacceptable” NBN marketing.

The banner ad which incurred a $12,600 fine from the ACCC in March

Other ISPs that having incurred the ACCC’s wrath for poor broadband advertising include MyRepublic, which paid $25,200 in penalties in July, TPG Internet, which was ordered to repay 8,000 customers over misleading marketing last year, and Optus for pressuring customers into switching to the new network before they had to.

In the latest case, ACCC has alleged Activ8me breached the Australian Consumer Law between June and October this year, in making allegedly false or misleading claims in three direct mail advertisements and five online banner advertisements marketing its non-NBN fibre-to-the-premises packages.

The ACCC alleges Activ8me made false and misleading representations when it told consumers they could access speeds of up to 100Mbps for $59.95 a month with no setup fee. In fact, the $59.95 plan only offered speeds of 12/1Mbps and a set-up fee of $99.95 applied if the consumer did not sign up to a 12-month plan.

Activ8me also told consumers that they would receive unlimited data when in fact Activ8me could suspend access or charge more for data use it deemed ‘unreasonable’.

“This is the second time this year that the ACCC has taken enforcement action against Activ8me for engaging in conduct that we allege is misleading, after we issued an Infringement Notice for false or misleading claims in March,” said ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard.

“Our decision to take court proceedings this time shows how seriously the ACCC takes Activ8me’s further conduct.”

The ACCC is seeking declarations, injunctions, pecuniary penalties, a corrective notice, consumer redress, a compliance program and costs.

Mumbrella has contacted Activ8me for comment.

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