Xtra pinged in court

The Herald reports:

’s Xtra has been fined $45,000 and ordered to pay $10,000 in costs for breaching the Fair Trading Act by lying to its customers.

Xtra, New Zealand’s largest internet service provider, was convicted in the High Court in Wellington today on three charges of misrepresenting “that its pricing, conditions attached to its services or its billing systems had been approved by the Commerce Commission.”

To be fair to Xtra, it was undisciplined call centre staff at fault, rather than a deliberate strategy of Telecom’s to claim something that did not exist. But as it happened on three occasions, that was enough to get pinged.

The judgement is online, and there are some interesting parts to it. The lawyer for Telecom suggested one witness was unreliable as her history of perceived bad service from Telecom might have influenced her recollection. Judge Broadmore responded:

I add that it is somehing of a low blow on Mr Heron’s part first to elicit from Ms Temple that she had had a number of contacts with the Telecom help desk which had caused her frustration for various reasons including notably the lengthy delays awaiting connection to a representative; and then to invoke that frustration, engendered by Telecom’s own conduct to impeach her credibility.

Ouch – a bit of a spanking there.

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