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  Reply # 2015934 14-May-2018 16:45
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Woah. So it's not 'debt collection', it's passed up the level from that 1 further to the user not adhering to the contract terms in which it was obtained?


Clever if not awkward to take so long to block if the SIM was never associated or tied.


Whos signed up recently that has one (contract) on hand to see if it mentions IEMI/SN/Device specifics. I'd have thought as long as the party kept paying the bill the device was just a cheap payment plan perk for the term to have your custom - usually works out over the 'buy out' (unless on special) price and says you have to pay the rest if you break out.


Full phone cost (including discount) must be repaid if you exit, transfer or downtrade your plan before 24 months.


Q. What happens if I want end my contract early?
A. If you exit or transfer to another provider before the end of the interest free term you just need to pay the remaining balance of the device cost and any early termination fees for your mobile plan.


So whos policing the exit or non use of the device if they are tied.. Sounds like there is a lot of faith on the punters to not try and make a buck while getting a good plan.

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  Reply # 2024355 29-May-2018 00:30
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I would be demanding to know why the phone wasn't SIM locked to the original customers SIM. If there is a requirement that the customer must use the phone.

As presumably if someone buys a phone on contract, and just leaves it in the box at home. It will also get blacklisted.

This saga still smells like the telcos operating on the edge of the law. As assuming that the original customer keeps on paying the bills and remains on the contract. The Telco won't actually loose any money.

What if I get a phone on such a contract, and use a SIM card from another provider in it? If I intended to do so from the beginning, is that obtaining by deception? Or is it a breach of contract? (Assuming I retain possession of the phone).

I don't see how this scenario is any different to say buying a washing machine from Harvey Norman on finance. And then giving or selling that washing machine to my mum.

Have the Police stated that they are going to file charges for obtaining by deception against someone?


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  Reply # 2024359 29-May-2018 02:02
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Did the Telco or the TCF state wether the person who obtained the phone, was a bona fide customer. Or did they use a false identity to obtain the phone? If the original customer was bona fide, then the phone wasn't obtained fraudulently. The question comes back to wether there is a security interest in the phone. Ask to be shown a PPSR record. And if not, then the "obtaining by deception" is simply a red herring. And the dispute is simply a contract dispute.

It could also be argued that blocking the IMEI of the phone is equivalent to repoessing a car. As in both cases, the item can't be used for its intended purpose. Which would then mean, did the Telco comply with the rules around repossessions? And then the original contract could also be constructed as a secured contract. Which then opens up the possibility that the contract with the original customer is actually a hire purchase or loan contract. Yet more rules around consumer lending would need to be complied with. And the Telco would also need to register as a financial service's provider.

I wouldn't trust someone reading from a script at a telcos call center to telling you the definitive truth. Just look at what is happening right now to the banks in regards to them providing financial advice and selling investments.

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  Reply # 2024380 29-May-2018 07:13
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The whole blocking issue is an interesting one, and after my blog post about it and subsequent discussions with both Spark and 2d I'm even more convinced the practices used primarily by Spark are nothing but dodgy.


They are determining a bad debt situation to be "fraud" and using the phone as security despite not wanting to lodge it as an interest against the PPPR. This is wrong.


Quite simply buying *any* second hand phone carries a level of risk as there is simply no way you can ever determine if it is effectively has a (illegal, since it's not registered against the PPSR) security interest against it by Spark. Spark will not disclose anything about a handset to anybody but the account holder so you're basically stuck with no way to ensure that any phone you buy will not be blocked months after.


Imagine buying a car, checking it against the PPSR to find it has no security and then months later somebody could impound it. There would be outrage.  


The TCF should be fronting on this issue but basically seem completely disinterested in what is happening. Until Spark start following proper process and adding handsets to the PPSR and the TCF start cross referencing the PPSR with their website checker I don't recommend anybody buys a second hand phone unless it's from somebody they know and trust. The risks are simply too great.





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