Internet provider Activ8me slapped with $250,000 misleading advertising fine

Melbourne-based internet provider Activ8me has been fined $250,000 by the Federal Court for making false or misleading representations following a prosecution by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The ACCC launched action against the ISP in December last year, alleging Activ8me made false or misleading claims in three direct mail advertisements and five online banner advertisements between June and October 2018.

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

Earlier in 2018 the ACCC fined Activ8me $12,600 for misusing the ACCC’s logo. At the time of launching the Federal Court action in December, Commission deputy chair Delia Rickard said: “Our decision to take court proceedings this time shows how seriously the ACCC takes Activ8me’s further conduct.”

The penalties were imposed after the ACCC and Activ8me agreed on the facts presented before the Federal Court with the ISP admitting it had made false or misleading claims in the material marketing its Opticomm fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) packages.

In its advertising, which included over 81,000 direct mail advertisements, Activ8me 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. The true cost of Activ8me’s 100Mbps plan was $89.95 per month.

Activ8me also made a number of other false or misleading claims about price, inclusion of ‘unlimited’ data, speed and total minimum costs.

“The misleading representations by Activ8me were blatantly wrong and misled hundreds of customers into signing up to internet services which were at a different price or speed than they expected” Rickard said following the Federal Court’s ruling.

Over the period involved, 793 customers acquired Activ8me’s Opticomm network FTTP services, the ISP will send each affected customer a corrective notice and implement a consumer law compliance program.

Mumbrella has contacted Activ8me for comment.


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