Telstra submits to ACCC’s penalty for misleading mobile direct-billing service

UPDATE: Telstra has now received a $ 10 million fine from the Federal Court, even though the PDB service is responsible for the telecommunications company getting $ 61.7 million in revenue. The original article continues below

Telstra's controversial Premium Billing (PDB) service will cost the company more than $ 10 million in ACCC fines, in addition to reimbursements to affected customers who were cheated by the service , according to a new statement from the Australian telecommunications company.

The PDB service allowed Telstra customers to buy or subscribe to third party services, such as games, applications and videos, and charge their costs directly to their mobile invoices. The AP purchase process was intentionally simplified and did not require payment details or identity verification.

Although it was conceived as a feature that improved comfort for consumers, many users complained when they found themselves paying for products they did not intend, or subscribed to services from which they could not leave. Those complaints lead the ACCC to take the telecommunications company to court, with the final result that Telstra canceled the service as of March 3.

What to Expect

Telstra claims that it has already paid $ 5 million in reimbursements to customers who complained about unjustified PDB charges, and ACCC estimates that reimbursements will be made for several million additional dollars.

The telecommunications company has agreed to contact any additional customer that they believe has been affected. If you are a Telstra customer who has problems with PDB purchases and believes you are responsible for the refund, we advise you to contact the telecommunications company directly.

While the PDB program has already been discontinued by third-party companies, certain services that Telstra offers through its own associations will continue to be charged to mobile invoices, which include subscriptions from companies such as Netflix, Foxtel, Apple Music and more. (for a complete list, visit this page of Telstra ). ]).

As for customers with other network providers, a similar story can be applied. Optus terminated third-party charges on January 31 with a comparable list of exceptions to Telstra. Vodafone still offers its equivalent feature (called Pay With Vodafone), which still allows the purchase of third-party products and services, such as games and competitions.