The Telecommunications Monitoring Group reports that Telstra has raised nearly $ 2.5 million for thousands of customers over a 12-year period.
The Australian Communications and Media Commission has ordered giant Telco to upgrade its game and comply with federal billing accuracy laws.
Investigators found that between February 2008 and February 2020, more than 10,000 customers were robbed of an average of $ 231.
Most people at that time were provided with an interim Telstra service – usually a mobile phone – due to delays in connecting or adjusting their landlines.
ACMA President Nerida O’Loughlin said the errors were a clear violation of the telecommunications consumer protection code.
“It is unacceptable for Telstra to allow such an issue to go unnoticed for so long and affect so many customers,” he said on Thursday.
Ms. O’Lohlin said customers under the existing or requested landline service should not be charged more for interim services than they normally pay for.
“Charging high fees can lead to financial problems for affected customers, which is why ACMA considers accuracy in billing procedures an important consumer safety,” he said.
Telstra self-announced earlier this year that it had overcharged ACMA.
It states that the billing error was caused by ID errors when the new customer database was launched in 2008.
“It is unacceptable to receive something as important as incorrect billing, and we apologize to our customers,” a company spokesman said in a statement.
“Since we found fault, we have been working to refund customers and change our processes, so this will never happen again.”
The ACMA duly guided Telstra to comply with the DCP code and warned that violations could result in fines of up to $ 250,000.