Commerce Commission lays charges against Slingshot, Flip and Orcon – are you effected?

The Commerce Commission has laid 13 charges against Telecom providers Slingshot, Orcon and Flip for allegedly charging false bills to departing customers.

Slingshot, Orcon and Flip – all owned by Vocus – have been accused of making false representations in invoices they sent to their customers.

What are they accused of?

The companies have been accused of issuing invoices that included charges to customers for the period after the agreed termination date for their contracts.

That means they may have issued invoices that included charges to customers for the period after the agreed termination dates for their contracts.

The commission alleged that in doing so, the companies misrepresented their rights to payments because their customers only owed payment for the services provided prior to the agreed termination date.

What does Vocus say?

Vocus NZ chief executive Mark Callander said it was cooperating with the commissions’ investigation and that Vocus had written to all customers affected, offered refunds and apologised for the mistake.

"Unfortunately, over a six year period, a very small percentage of customers leaving Vocus' residential ISPs who had given more than 30 days' notice of termination may have been billed incorrectly on their final bill. Vocus fixed this issue in early 2018," Callander said.

Have you been effected by billing mistakes on your broadband bill?

The current charges relate to conduct during the period January 2, 2012 to March 1, 2018. So you may have been affected if you were a Slingshot, Orcon or Flip customer who terminated your contract during this time.

If you were affected you should have heard from Vocus, but if it’s been a while it may be worth going back and checking your records.

The report is a good reminder that it’s worth checking you regular bills to make sure the charges are correct and there are no mistakes. If you check your broadband bill and you’re not sure that your current plan still fits your needs - this is a good time to compare the options and make an informed choice.
 

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