Spark New Zealand has been fined NZ$675,000 by the District Court in Auckland for breaches of the Fair Trading Act 1986.
The proceedings, to which Spark had pleaded guilty in a previous court hearing, were
brought by the New Zealand Commerce Commission in July 2018, in relation to two
separate historical operational and billing issues:
Incorrect implementation of a ‘welcome credit’ when joining Spark for some
fibre broadband customers during 2016; and a billing implementation relating to a 30-day notice period when customers left Spark.
Spark said it sincerely regretted the impact on customers and had taken all practicable steps to refund those customers who were billed incorrectly or did not receive their welcome credit.
The Court, meanwhile, said it has taken Spark’s conduct, including its guilty plea, into account when determining the financial penalty, noting also that Spark has fully refunded existing customers and the vast majority of former customers, and has sent a letter or email to the last known address of former customers with a credit balance of NZ$1 or mor.e