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Investigation reveals high pressure tactics to sign customers to the NBN

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An investigation by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has revealed high-pressure tactics and unethical behaviour from some phone and internet providers to sign up people to the NBN.

The report from the TIO outlines a range of underhanded methods are being used by some companies to attract consumers and small businesses to use their NBN services.

These tactics include threats of being disconnected from phone and Internet services, the loss of phone numbers along with inaccurate information about NBN plans.

These form just some of the 1,729 complaints made to the TIO about these businesses involving services over the NBN.

The investigation also found that heavy-handed sales tactics were also being employed to  pressure consumers and small businesses to sign new phone and Internet contracts they don’t want, they don’t need or simply can’t afford.

It is also had a particular impact on older customers who are less tech savvy and more susceptible to these high-pressure sales tactics.

“Consumers are being told information about moving to the NBN that is simply not true and puts them at a disadvantage,” said Ombudsman Judi Jones.

“This is concerning behaviour from a small group of phone and internet providers and should stop.

“In some cases we have shared information about this issue with the relevant regulators so they can consider further action.

“Moving to the NBN is not automatic and consumers need to know they can make a measured and informed decision about which NBN provider is right for them.

“If the consumer is feeling pressured by telemarketer it is fine to hang up.

“If they find themselves signed up to a contract they don’t want or need and can’t fix the issue with the provider the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman can help.”

Here is what customers can do to manage a cold call from a telemarketer about moving to the NBN:

– Check who the telemarketer is working for right away. Hang up if it’s not clear.

– Check whether you’re signing up for a new plan on the old network or on the NBN. The NBN Co website can tell you whether you’re area is already connected.

– Don’t be rushed when trying to understand the details of the new plan you are considering. Take your time before agreeing to a new contract or plan and ask for a copy of the plan on offer including a facts sheet.

– Don’t feel pressured to make a decision on the spot. Take your time to consider the offer and do your own research and compare other plants to decide which suits you best.

– Don’t reveal any personal information before you’re ready to sign up for a new plan.

– Check the disconnection date for your existing phone and Internet service by contacting your current provider. Check that you have received a letter from your current provider or NBN co-about a disconnection date.

– Know your rights about changing your mind. If you’ve been cold call by a telemarketer, in most cases you can cancel the contract within 10 business days.