The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken legal action against National Telecoms Group (NTG) in the Federal Court, after conducting a year-long investigation into alleged deceptive conduct by the telco provider.
The allegations against NTG and its various subsidiaries - Direct Telecoms, Recom Corporate Communications, National Communications Services and New Technology Group - relate to telephony bundles marketed under the name Synergy and sold to small and medium businesses.
The ACCC claims that NTG sales reps promised customers that by transferring over to NTG's service they would pay less, or at least no more, than their current service was costing them, call rates would be cheaper, and customers would receive a new phone system free of charge.
In reality the phone system was not free, argues the ACCC.
The commission claims that customers were falsely wooed into an agreement whereby a monthly lease payment would be directly debited from their accounts to cover the cost of the phone. What's more, rebates and discounts relating to call costs were set for future dates.
The initial hearing is scheduled for March 19.