Watching the watchdog

It's good to know there's someone out there looking after consumers' rights. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched an all-out war against people who try to rip off consumers using 190 telephone services. In one recent case, a company which claimed to be a provider of credit services was found, in fact, to be unable to provide any such service. In order to discover this, however, customers had to call a 190 telephone number and were charged a significant sum of money to find out they'd been ripped off. The company has now been forced to refund the money to customers, wherever possible. Any leftover funds will be used by the ACCC to conduct an educational campaign "to warn consumers of the possibility that some providers of premium call information services may engage in misleading or deceptive conduct". The centrepiece of the education campaign will be a 190 number that consumers can call if they have questions. Calls will cost $5 per minute.

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IDG staff

PC World

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