Telstra and the ACCC today agreed to jointly submit to the Federal Court that Telstra pay a penalty relating to the management of its Premium Direct Billing (PDB) service.
The PDB service enabled mobile customers to purchase online content such as games, apps and videos from third parties on a subscription or one-off basis and have it charged directly to their mobile bill. Telstra exited this service entirely on 3 March 2018.
Group Executive of Consumer & Small Business Vicki Brady said PDB services had been introduced by a number of mobile providers to give customers a convenient way of charging certain types of online services to their phone bill.
“In a digital world, increasingly our customers have the option of buying things online that can be charged to their Telstra bill, and for their convenience we aim to make it as simple as possible. It is clear for this specific type of service, we did not get that right,” Ms Brady said.
“A large proportion of customers who decided to subscribe to a service were happy with it, however the number of complaints received over time shows there were issues with the PDB service that needed to be addressed.
“PDB services have been recognised as an issue for the broader telecommunications industry – Telstra took a number of steps to improve our processes but acknowledge we could have done more and done it faster.
“We apologise to our customers who have been charged for PDB subscription services they did not knowingly request or could not opt out of.”
Telstra will be contacting customers it identifies as being impacted by this issue over the coming months. Customers who believe they may have been impacted should call Telstra to discuss their concerns.
Background: Premium Direct Billing enables mobile customers to purchase online content such as games, apps and videos from third parties on a subscription or one-off basis by pressing on a subscribe now or purchase now button or similar and to have it charged directly to their mobile bill. Telstra exited this service entirely on 3 March 2018. Telstra will continue to enable customers to purchase some content from third party providers and have it charged directly to their mobile phone bill – more information on these services can be found here.
Media contact: Michael Zappone
Media Reference: 043/2018