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BDFL
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Topic # 137898 12-Dec-2013 17:13 4 people support this post Send private message

Just received:


Call Plus Services Limited, trading as Slingshot, has been fined $250,000 after pleading guilty in the Auckland District Court today to 50 charges it faced under the Fair Trading Act in relation to the marketing of its telecommunications services.

Between 2009 and 2011, the Commission received over 100 complaints alleging that telemarketers acting on behalf of Slingshot had breached the Fair Trading Act by either misleading customers about the service provided or by switching customers to Slingshot’s services without their consent, known in this industry as “slamming”.

The Commission’s investigation established that Slingshot exacerbated this behaviour by then vigorously pursuing payment when customers refused to pay for a service they had not agreed to acquire. In some cases Slingshot referred customers to debt collection agencies and continued demands for payment despite consumers receiving assurances from other Slingshot staff that the matter had been resolved and no further action was required.

On sentencing, Judge Russell Collins said the actions of Slingshot had a “real and disturbing impact on customers in the market place.” The Judge also said this case was an “excellent illustration for the need for the Fair Trading Act” and that the “conduct encouraged more barriers to competition.”

Commerce Commission Consumer Manager Stuart Wallace said Slingshot’s actions in this case were very disappointing.

“This is unacceptable conduct by any trader, let alone one of Slingshot’s prominence” said Mr Wallace. “A particularly concerning aspect of this offending is that Slingshot was warned by the Commission for similar conduct in December 2009.”

The Commission has also laid charges against Power Marketing Limited, who acted as Slingshot’s marketing agent. Power Marketing Limited is defending some of the charges faced, so no further comment can be made it this time.




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Watchmaker Wizard
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  Reply # 951175 12-Dec-2013 19:14 Send private message

So they haven't improved since Annette Presley was running the show then?

Surely they didn't think they'd get away with it without it eventually doing them more harm than good through bad publicity? Maybe they abide by the "any publicity is good publicity" mantra.






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  Reply # 951178 12-Dec-2013 19:16 Send private message

Telecom New Zealand sent this out later:


Telecom welcomes Slingshot convictions for “slamming” of Telecom customers

Telecom is pleased that Callplus Services Limited (trading as Slingshot) has been convicted and fined $250,000 for illegal ‘slamming’ practices.  ‘Slamming’ is an illegal industry practice in which a customer’s telecommunications services are changed to another provider without their consent.

In the Auckland District Court today, Callplus/Slingshot pleaded guilty to 50 breaches of the Fair Trading Act in relation to the marketing of its telecommunications services, under charges brought by the Commerce Commission.

Telecom Retail CEO Chris Quin said although the convictions related to 27 customer cases, Telecom received 679 customer complaints regarding Callplus/Slingshot between 2008 and 2011.  In 2010, Slingshot represented 67% of complaints escalated to Telecom’s investigating team.

Analysis of complaints showed a range of concerning practices.  These included not giving consent for their services to be transferred to Callplus/Slingshot, thinking they were talking to a Telecom representative, or being told it was mandatory to change from Telecom to Callplus/Slingshot.

‘Furthermore, we believe that these complaints are likely to represent a small proportion of the total number of affected customers, as others might not have complained because they were unwilling to go through the hassle of transferring their services back to Telecom, or they simply did not understand why they started receiving bills from Slingshot,” Mr Quin commented.

Mr Quin said the Callplus/Slingshot practices had cost Telecom in terms of lost customer revenue, resources spent on investigating the issue, and legal expenses.

“We hope that this court action will be a timely reminder to all telco industry players to act appropriately when marketing services to customers. Our industry might be fiercely competitive, but it’s important that consumers are always properly informed about what they are buying and from which provider.”







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  Reply # 951182 12-Dec-2013 19:20 Send private message





Apple: Have it their way
Android: Have it your way

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  Reply # 951200 12-Dec-2013 20:11 Send private message

Contacting the TDR don't do anything - they have a process to follow.

I still don't understand how some of these churns occur - in many situations people are giving their details to telemarketers as these are required to churn a connection.




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  Reply # 951234 12-Dec-2013 20:54 One person supports this post Send private message

They probably GAVE the details, believing those were Telecom employees/call center. Who knows how the conversations really went?




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  Reply # 951279 12-Dec-2013 22:00 Send private message

sbiddle: Contacting the TDR don't do anything - they have a process to follow.

I still don't understand how some of these churns occur - in many situations people are giving their details to telemarketers as these are required to churn a connection.



My grandparents got done by TelstraClear telemarketers. Were asked for a bunch of details to "confirm availability and post you more details". Luckily Snap called them and said "We've been seeing a bunch of dodgy churns lately, just wanted to check you actually asked for this?"

Made use of the 7 day direct marketing cancellation to get out of it. TelstraClear said cancellation had to be written (by post only, not fax/email) then tried to claim they didn't receive it in time. Luckily I'd track+traced it and could prove otherwise.

Telcos can be awfully dodgy at times.

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  Reply # 951283 12-Dec-2013 22:07 One person supports this post Send private message

sbiddle: Contacting the TDR don't do anything - they have a process to follow.

I still don't understand how some of these churns occur - in many situations people are giving their details to telemarketers as these are required to churn a connection.



Ah I remember lots of these issues when I worked in an ISP call centre. customer calls "I cant get online" finally after trying to check their line we realised were no longer the servicing ISP and it had been moved to Callplus/Slingshot, we actually had a specific process in place to switch them back over, the problem then was the customer, and normally a poor old lady would still need to deal with the Slingshot bill turning up, many gave up paid the bill and early disconnect fee as they could just not deal with what was going on - this was at one stage happening daily. 

The other issue was many people at that point just wanted to get online, and so instead of churning them back, which sometimes took days they just stuck it out and became a Slingshot customer

How these churns occour - well there was some press about Slingshot giving out access to wireline to their marketing company which could have accounted for alot, but any RSP with access to wireline has the "ability" (I say this because its possible, but is a major breach, as per this topic if they do it) to do a site lookup on an address, get the phone numbers and associated DSL info and slam them over without any authorisation, again this sort of thing happens by accident often sometimes by chorus just mis-jumpering the line, but its fixed up by the customers ISP by them logging a fault with Chorus.


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  Reply # 951288 12-Dec-2013 22:15 One person supports this post Send private message

theEd:
sbiddle: Contacting the TDR don't do anything - they have a process to follow.

I still don't understand how some of these churns occur - in many situations people are giving their details to telemarketers as these are required to churn a connection.



My grandparents got done by TelstraClear telemarketers. Were asked for a bunch of details to "confirm availability and post you more details". Luckily Snap called them and said "We've been seeing a bunch of dodgy churns lately, just wanted to check you actually asked for this?"

Made use of the 7 day direct marketing cancellation to get out of it. TelstraClear said cancellation had to be written (by post only, not fax/email) then tried to claim they didn't receive it in time. Luckily I'd track+traced it and could prove otherwise.

Telcos can be awfully dodgy at times.


Yup the culprits were Slingshot, TCL and sometimes Telecom, they were particularly bad back in the day when your phone had to be with Telecom and you could have your DSL with an ISP, often when calling for a phone fault customers were pressured into moving over their broadband, no way near as bad as the TCL and SS.

As I said in my last post the biggest issue was that TCL and Slingshot would still try and nab the customer for a month access and an early termination charge, and this was often really difficult to get out of, I remember situations where we moved the customer back and they were literally blackmailed into actually churning back again in fear of being charged a early termination which they could not afford, arguing this out with a telco can be difficult and risky if they end up sending you to the debt collectors.

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  Reply # 951537 13-Dec-2013 12:07 One person supports this post Send private message

What a scummy practice!




http://www.speedtest.net/result/3121421499.png Speed test over wifi.

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  Reply # 951600 13-Dec-2013 13:35 One person supports this post Send private message

Pretty much most large NZ telcos use marketing companies, and seldom are the results good.


Third party door to door or phone sales give incorrect info, they give incorrect pricing and promise what they cannot give.

The telecommunications market could do without these third party companies involved.


Should just be ISP & customer.

Customer X learns of pricing or deals that provider Y is offering.
Customer wants to switch.
Customer will call or contact an ISP that the customer is interested in switching to.

End of story.





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