The telco scammers are at it again – is yours one of the many Australian businesses that has fallen prey to an equipment rental scam recently? If so, you are not alone. Attwood Marshall Lawyers has acted for hundreds of clients in the same situation. We previously launched a class action in the Federal Court, and we are looking to commence further proceedings in coming months against another dodgy telco provider company and their finance partner, explains Attwood Marshall Lawyers Commercial Litigation Partner and NSW Accredited Specialist in Dispute Resolution, Charles Lethbridge.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers is again being approached by members of the public providing instructions that they have been ripped off by telecommunications salespeople and finance companies. Consumers are again reporting the same basic pattern – a salesperson from a telecommunications business approaches a prospective business customer with the claim that it will slash the business’ monthly telephone bill whilst also offering a raft of other benefits.
The benefits being promised include:
- state-of-the-art telecommunications equipment;
- the payout of existing telco contracts;
- the installation of dedicated NBN lines;
- the provision of 3CX phone software;
- full support and training.
As the story goes, the customers sign a contract which includes a provision that they will pay a monthly fee in return for the promises made by the salesperson.
Unfortunately, the customers do not receive any of the promised benefits, often only part of the equipment arrives, and they find out that they are locked into a 5-year equipment rental contract with a finance company under which they have “agreed” to pay up to $100,000 (over 5 years).
Left with a monthly bill for 5 years and nothing to show for it , the customer then contacts the finance company to inform it that some, or all, of the equipment has not been delivered or installed, and none of the promised benefits have been provided or implemented.
This is when the nightmare unfolds; the finance company responds by stating they are not associated with the salesperson or telecommunications company which sold the products and insisting that the customers must continue to pay the monthly fee notwithstanding the equipment and services have not been provided.
What to do if you have been a victim of a telco scam
If you have been caught out in this sort of scam, it is important to find out what options are available. You may have grounds to join our anticipated class action, or alternatively, we will be able to assist you in defending a spurious claim against you for outstanding monthly payments by a dodgy telco finance companies.
Our experienced dispute resolution lawyers have successfully represented hundreds of clients involving similar finance arrangements and we have a 100% success rate in defending claims by these telco finance companies against customers. Unfortunately, often these finance companies commence legal proceedings against customers seeking orders for the payment of monies alleged to be owed under the rental agreements. We have successfully argued that our clients were induced to enter into rental agreements by misleading or deceptive conduct on the part of sales agents that supplied the equipment because they were ‘linked credit providers’ for the purposes of section 278 of the Australian Consumer Law which makes the finance company jointly and severally liable in relation to the misrepresentations of the equipment suppliers.
Attwood Marshall Lawyers – helping consumers fight scams and claim compensation for their losses
If you have been the victim of an equipment rental and telco scam, please get in touch with Attwood Marshall Lawyers immediately to find out more about the action we are taking against telco scammers.
Our lawyers will be able to review your case immediately to be able to advise you on your prospects of success and discuss what the next steps are to take. It is our intent to reduce your risk as much as possible as we know you have already suffered enough financial loss and stress.