ACCC hands out hefty fines


Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has flexed its muscles with $10 million fines for Telstra and Ford. It’s accused Ford of misconduct.

Rory Scott reports.

TRANSCRIPT

The complaints about the gearboxes of three Ford car models began in 2015 with drivers experiencing power loss, jerky acceleration and noisy transmissions.

The company told customers it was their driving and not faulty gearboxes.

Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman: “Ford knew there were problems with these vehicles; people would come in with the problem, they’d be told it was their driving style, they’d be told there is no way they could get a refund or replacement, which of course is against the law.”

Along with the $10 million fine, Ford has agreed to fix, buy back or replace up to 10,500 cars, and has also agreed to pay the ACCC’s court costs.

Ford has accepted its misconduct and apologised to any customers that were affected.

Telstra was fined in a similar fashion to Ford because customers were charged for premium content they had not signed up for through a third party service.

More than 100,000 customers may have been affected.

Brendon Riley, Telstra Group Executive: “It’s very very important we continue to reshape and reconfigure Telstra, align to our strategy and the face we are in a very dynamic industry.”

Telstra has already begun refunding customers who were overcharged.

Rory Scott, QUT News.


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