2degrees ‘free Aussie business roaming’ claims not fair dinkum, ComCom says

The Commerce Commission has filed eight charges under the Fair Trading Act against Two Degrees Mobile Limited (2degrees) for alleged misleading claims about their ‘free Aussie roaming’ for business mobile plans.

Fair Trading General Manager, Vanessa Horne, says these claims made by 2degrees in their marketing between 2020 to 2023 created an impression that customers would have the ability to roam year round in Australia at no extra cost when that was not the case.

“Businesses need to make sure that key information about claims they’re making is easy to find, and not buried in the fine print,” Ms Horne says.

“Consumers should be able to rely on the truth and accuracy of advertising headline claims as they are often central to the overall impression created by the advertising.

Ms Horne says that describing something as ‘free’ is likely to sway a consumer’s purchasing choice, and businesses risk breaching the Fair Trading Act when limitations or conditions to headline claims are not clearly disclosed.

The Commission alleges that 2degrees advertised “free Aussie business roaming” for customers who signed up to their business mobile plans. 2degrees prominently used claims like “Aussie business roaming at no extra cost” and “the other guys charge for Aussie business roaming, we don’t” when in fact the ‘free’ roaming was capped at 90 days each year. If customers exceeded 90 days of roaming, they would be charged per day of additional roaming.

After engaging with the Commerce Commission 2degrees has taken steps to rectify the claims and compensate affected customers. This includes removing the 90-day limit on free roaming in Australia, refunding current and former customers who were charged for business roaming in Australia in excess of 90 days, and updating their promotional material.

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