Key Aldi technology supplier Medion Australia has been slammed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission following an investigation into their mobile phone marketing practices undertaken by the German Company in Australia.
As a result Medion has provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC after investigations revealed that the Company was representing that its ALDImobile ‘Unlimited Pack’ provided customers unlimited features when significant usage restrictions applied.
Medion supplies pre-paid mobile products and services under the brand name ALDImobile on the ALDImobile website and in ALDI Stores.
Medion who has no relationship with Aldi other than being a supplier also sells cheap bottom end PC’s to the German retailer.
Between 14 September 2013 and 15 November 2013, Medion represented on the ALDImobile website that the ‘Unlimited Pack’ provided customers with 30 days of unlimited voice calls, voicemail, SMS and MMS.
The ACCC was concerned that these ‘unlimited’ representations were likely to mislead consumers. In fact, the Unlimited Pack was subject to usage restrictions outlined in the Acceptable Use Policy which meant that consumers were subject to daily, three day and 30 day limits on voice calls, SMS and MMS.
“The ACCC is concerned that some Telco businesses are making sweeping offers of unlimited services while concealing the true extent of the service in the fine print,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
“The ACCC is particularly concerned about the use of ‘unlimited’, or similar terms, in telecommunications industry advertising when significant restrictions apply.”
“Consumer protection in the telecommunications sector remains a priority for the ACCC in 2014. This undertaking serves as a notice that our scrutiny of industry advertising and sales practices continues.”
Medion has admitted that it is likely to have engaged in misleading conduct, and made false or misleading representations, in contravention of sections 18 and 29(1) (g) of the Australian Consumer Law.
In response to the ACCC’s concerns, Medion has changed the name of the ‘Unlimited Pack’ to ‘$35 Plan’ , removed the description of unlimited from the ALDImobile website and in-store advertising and provided a court enforceable undertaking to the ACCC.
Medion has agreed to undertaking that require the Company to refrain from engaging in the same or similar conduct for three years, publish a corrective notice on the ALDImobile website for 30 days; and establish and implement a competition and consumer law compliance program for two years.