Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Australian Mobile Phone Provider Sent 1000s of Fake Debt Collection Letters

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the show-me-the-money dept.

Australia 82

Bismillah writes "Excite Mobile in South Australia also set up a fake debt collection agency, and a fictional complaints body for late-paying customers. The company sent fake debt collection letters to 1074 customers, even going so far as threatening to confiscate the toys of their customers' kids if they didn't pay up. From the article: 'South Australian mobile phone provider Excite Mobile has been found guilty of false, misleading and unconscionable conduct by the Federal Court after the ACCC took action against the company for faking a debt collection agency, creating a fictional complaints body, and misrepresenting scope of mobile coverage.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

FRAUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43516811)

Fraud fraud fraud fraudy fraud fraud.

Re:FRAUD (4, Insightful)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516833)

Yeah, this isn't a problem in America. In other countries, businesses will jockey around the law and do things like this. In America, they change the law first to make it legal, or at least make them legally not culpable (i.e. move the burden of verifying legitimacy on the recipient of debt collection notices).

Re:FRAUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43516915)

Companies can't change the laws in America. Only politicians can.
 
You can't buy what isn't for sale. We've seen every combination of the one party system in this structure of power and perversion over the past few decades and things only get worse and worse for the man on the street. But hey, next election we can shake up the one party system again and see if that works this time. Anything else is a waste of a vote. Right?
 
Not that it matters much, the one party system can now all but keep any competition out of the system through lawsuits.
 
But, you know, it's only the big evil corporations who do stuff like that. Right? Keep eating it up, boys, the one party sytem loves you for it.

Re:FRAUD (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517007)

The idea that there is only ONE group at fault in the arrangement you describe is asinine!

Re:FRAUD (2)

Dishevel (1105119) | about a year and a half ago | (#43519135)

I think you missed his point.
The point being that Democrat or republican you are just voting for one side a poison pill.
The "One Party System" is that of the Republicats.

Re:FRAUD (1)

davester666 (731373) | about a year and a half ago | (#43522513)

Liar! I bet the Demolicans put you up to this vile lie!.

Re:FRAUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43519525)

But we have the best government that money can buy.

Re:FRAUD (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43522407)

When the one party is owned by companies, what does that do to your denial?

Re:FRAUD (3, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517445)

Why does this have to get changed to be about America?

Because (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518707)

Because nothing in the world matters except America. Just ask almost* any American, he'll tell you!

* I did say "almost" - a few of us have a clue.

Re:FRAUD (0)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518923)

because this is primarily an American news/discussuion site. also, It's a joke son.

Fake Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43516821)

This post is a fake post brought to you by Excite Mobile

Seize kid's toys? (2)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516823)

If that doesn't give you an inkling that you're dealing with the same mindset of the people who came up with the Haventree attack shark, then I don't know.

BS (5, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516827)

A corporation isn't the only entity that did this. Specific persons employed or contracted by the corporation did.

Prison time.

Re:BS (4, Interesting)

Linsaran (728833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516951)

True, but a corporation can only be this evil because there's no specific accountability to the people who own the corporation. Corporations act as a shield for individual liability, that's their only real purpose. If the people who own a corporation were exposed to the same legal and financial risks, they probably wouldn't do half the shit they do.

Re:BS (4, Interesting)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517057)

Put succinctly by Leverage: "If you and I kill a guy, we go to prison. If my *company* kills a guy, pay a fine, that's the cost of doing business."

Re:BS (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518553)

The financial liability is limited to the company's assets -- if it runs out, they cannot continue into the pockets of the owners.

The difference is seen with companies like insurance, where the owners are also underwriters, so their assets are on the line. Some old money in Britain lost their estates when Lloyds of London made some bad tanker and space launch bets that year.

In any case, criminal activity isn't necessarily limited to the company -- it applies (that is the actual reason for the corp in in-corp-oration) but just ask the Enron guys. If they murder someone, someone goes to jail as usual.

Re:BS (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43522471)

The financial liability is limited to the company's assets -- if it runs out, they cannot continue into the pockets of the owners.

It wasn't until relatively modern times where a "company" could kill someone and nobody in the company would face criminal charges. It's not just financial liability, but criminal liability as well. And if the owners have any managerial duties (day to day management, not just directorship), they can be held financially liable. Though that's usually done for tiny private companies, I've not heard of anyone in a publicly listed company being held liable because of any ownership, it is theoretically possible, but has never happened (except for actions taken while a paid employee unrelated to any ownership).

Re:BS (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about a year and a half ago | (#43529971)

It wasn't until relatively modern times where a "company" could kill someone and nobody in the company would face criminal charges.

[citation needed]

I've not heard of anyone in a publicly listed company being held liable because of any ownership, it is theoretically possible, but has never happened (except for actions taken while a paid employee unrelated to any ownership).

[citation needed]

Re:BS (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year and a half ago | (#43523461)

It doesn't have to be this way. In the UK, sure, the majority of the time very large fines are set; fines large enough to send the company under, but these are for small crimes and a fine is proportional.

I recieve HSE (Health and Safety Executive) reports weekly as part of my job. The HSE are independent regulators of all work related health and safety issues.

Here are some extracts from 2013 reports:

  • Optima (Cambridge) Ltd was fined a total of £63,000 and ordered to pay costs of £16,000. Dominik Jaslowski was given a three month prison sentence for each offence, to run concurrently, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work and pay costs of £3,500.
  • Brian Peter Beavis, t/a Heavy Plant Repairs, pleaded guilty to breaching Section 6(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974. He was given a nine months' prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to pay £10,000 compensation to Mr Pinkerton's partner.
  • Mr Maddocks had told Mr Lavender they would try to lift the post once and if it was too heavy they would wait for the more manpower to arrive in the form of the property owner and an electrician who was due at the house. Eden Shane Maddocks was given a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and 180 hours unpaid community service work, after pleading guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

People go to gaol for killing other people.

Re:BS (3, Interesting)

doconnor (134648) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517077)

I doubt most of the owners knew or approved of this, put specific people who worked for the corporation did. They should be the target of criminal charges. Having them go to jail would be a better deterrent then some financial liability spread among the owners.

Re:BS (2)

jbresciani (2860867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43519763)

I doubt most of the owners knew or approved of this, put specific people who worked for the corporation did. They should be the target of criminal charges. Having them go to jail would be a better deterrent then some financial liability spread among the owners.

from the article:

"Excite Mobile directors Obie Brown and David Samuel were also found to have created a fake complaints company"

and

"The ACCC will further seek injunctions, penalties, costs, and a five-year disqualification for Brown and Samuel from operating a company."

Re:BS (1)

philip.paradis (2580427) | about a year and a half ago | (#43521375)

"The ACCC will further seek injunctions, penalties, costs, and a five-year disqualification for Brown and Samuel from operating a company."

I'm sure they'll just have some other entities operate various things for them if that comes to pass. If various guys can manage regional organized crime and gang business from prison, surely they fellows can arrange to have strings pulled on their behalf as free men.

Re:BS (1)

jbresciani (2860867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43525787)

yup, the letter of the law probably just prohibits a c level position or being a board member. I wonder if they could consult or simply lead under the title "Janitor".

Re:BS (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517185)

in most countries in the west(or far-west like australia) performing such fraud actually usually ends up in having the persons who did it tried in criminal court. and end up with limitations on running a business so they have to find someone to act as a shell person for their next fraud. usually it's in a lot smaller scale of course than a telecoms company.

just having shares on something though.. the shareholders should sue the management in this case, I doubt their sec(equivalent) filing included "in the 3rd quarter we will try massive fraud to boost profits".

Re:BS (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518311)

Well, they are on the other side of the date line from me so it's more like far east.

Re:BS (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about a year and a half ago | (#43520441)

It is (or was; it's being forcibly wound up now) a privately-held "Australian Proprietary Company, Limited By Shares" - not publicly traded, no public shareholders, and limited to a maximum of 50 private shareholders.

Quite likely the only shareholders were the 2 directors who have been singled out as being "knowingly concerned" with the deceptive and illegal practices. I'd look, but the ASIC and government websites seem to have closed off the couple of holes that allowed you to see the shareholdings of P/L directors, and I'm not paying to find out...

Re:BS (1)

socz (1057222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517291)

Corporations are people, my friend!

Re:BS (0)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517361)

Corporations are people, my friend!

Except for the purposes of being tried and sent to jail, of course... Then they are merely the vessels into which Hard Working Real Americans invest their retirement savings, and you wouldn't be mean enough to steal the food from Grandma's mouth, would you?

Re:BS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43517647)

I think you mean "Hard Working Real Australians"

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43521299)

It's all the same. Australia is our vassal and they know it. Same with the UK, Canada, Germany, France, Russia,....

Re:BS (1)

socz (1057222) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518255)

MPAA doesn't have a problem stealing food from grandma's mouth right? With all of the incorrect accusations of them stealing movies when all they had was an IP address and sent out a form letter. Maybe I should have posted it as "Corporations are people."

Blurred lines (2)

andersh (229403) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517705)

I don't know how it's in the US or Australia but in my Western country the executive(s) are specifically liable for the company's actions.

Especially their own illegal or irresponsible actions - but not limited to their own either. Owners of corporations may in fact also be liable [here], depending on circumstances and ownership. It's far too complicated to go into detail here, I work with the law for a living in my European country.

Re:Blurred lines (1)

lgw (121541) | about a year and a half ago | (#43519365)

That's true in America as well, it's just the bar is quite high, so that it rarely comes up. But there are scenarios like fraud when selling to the government itself where they're going to find someone to put in prison.

Re:Blurred lines (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43520871)

The ACCC is Australia's consumer watchdog agency, unlike previous watchdogs they have big enough teeth to do a proper job. They don't just go for small stuff and fraud they also go after the anti-competitive practices used by large corporations, eg: they stopped Apple from making exclusive deals with phone companies and basically told them to sell to everyone or don't sell at all.

Re:BS (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518183)

Corporations have no souls to damn, nor bodies to kick, so they're all (senior managment & board of directors) responsible.

(Paraphrased from an apocryphal story of an English judge)

The board and executives may well serve time. (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year and a half ago | (#43519327)

This is the level of fraud that does get criminal actions against executives or the board. The OWNERS are grandmas who have mutual funds with hundreds of stocks. They had no knowledge of any wrongdoing. In the end, the owners (stockholders) end up being victims when the company goes bust.

Re:The board and executives may well serve time. (1)

NoMaster (142776) | about a year and a half ago | (#43521267)

The OWNERS are grandmas who have mutual funds with hundreds of stocks.

No they're not; this was a privately held P/L company - no public shareholders & not publicly traded.

Re:BS (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516979)

It's extortion and fraud; pure criminal behaviour. There has to be more than "injunctions, penalties, costs, and a five-year disqualification for Brown and Samuel from operating a company."

I don't understand why they're prosecting the 'company' and not the people involved, who clearly belong in jail.

Re:BS (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517197)

Absolutely. However, it may be difficult to prove that specific individuals were liable for criminal acts (it may not be, I don't know the specifics of the case). It may not be possible to prove who was criminally liable for this action.

Re:BS (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517399)

Absolutely. However, it may be difficult to prove that specific individuals were liable for criminal acts (it may not be, I don't know the specifics of the case). It may not be possible to prove who was criminally liable for this action.

If I remember the script correctly, it goes like this:

If you ask about the powerless peons in the phone cubes, then they were just following orders.

If you ask about the C-levels, then it was the powerless peons acting outside the knowledge or authorization of management.

If the opposing attorney is particularly good; both are true simultaneously, and it's an instance of Schrodinger's malfeasance, which is simultaneously committed under orders and committed without due authorization.

Re:BS (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517659)

Actually, it is a matter of what happens in court. Actually, in all probability the breakdown will be between middle management and upper management. Obviously these two levels are both going to insist that their trials be separate from each other. Then the middle management will insist that they were following orders and when they questioned the legality they were assured that it had been cleared through legal. There may even be documentation supporting this claim. However, the Upper management will insist, in their separate trials, that that is not what happened at all and whatever documentation there is will be vague enough to at least allow the reasonable belief that it was indeed the middle management acting outside of the knowledge or authorization of upper management. And the problem is that both of these scenarios are believable. Of course, by now this has happened often enough that an alternate scenario is also believable. That upper management told middle management to do it in a manner that was intentionally phrased so as to deny that was what they were telling them while middle management was well aware that what they were doing was illegal.
I was a manager of a retail store that had a significant problem with "shrink" (which in this case was primarily due to shoplifting as a result of the location of the store). Shortly after the manager of a larger store, which had a similar problem, only worse, was fired (for an unrelated reason) my regional manager started to tell me every time she saw me that I was under no circumstances address the "shrink" problem the way that the fired manager had and then she gave me a detailed description of what he did (including how he did it so that corporate accounting would not flag it, which of course raised the question of how she knew he did it). I always assured her that I would never do that (and I never did because I had a strategy for addressing the issue that did not require lying or otherwise falsifying my paperwork. I do not know that my strategy would have worked at the larger store).

Re:BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43521197)

The submitter's nickname is "Bismillah", which means "In the name of God". Are you calling BS on what was said in the name of God?

Verizon (2, Funny)

estitabarnak (654060) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516887)

And you thought Verizon was bad...

Re:Verizon (4, Informative)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#43521295)

And you thought Verizon was bad...

Generally our telco's aren't this bad.

Excite Mobile are an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) who dont own any infrastructure themselves. Their business model depends on being cheaper than the big 3 (Telstra, Vodafone and Optus) which often leads to having to use questionable business practices to stay in the black... Which is what happened here.

What isn't wrong, is that they sent letters of demand to late paying customers. They had every right to do this, even to use a debt collection agency (after a reasonable time) to recoup the loss. This is fine.

What they did wrong was to set up a fake debt collection agency (deceive customers) and send out threats to confiscate property that did not legally belong to them. Only a court order can order a debtor to hand over their own property to pay a debt and the court does not do this readily.

The second thing they did wrong was to set up another fake company, this time a complaint handling service that had an official sounding name, "Telecommunications Industry Complaints" that was internal to Excite Mobile which again deceived customers. What makes this particularly bad is that "Telecommunications Industry Complaints" sounds very similar to the official government body for regulating the telecommunications industry, the "Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman" who deals with high level complaints about telco's and has real power to hand out fines. So it was a deliberate attempt to mislead customers that an authoritative body was dealing with their complaints when it was not and an attempt to prevent customers from contacting the ombudsman (by confusing them between "complaints" and "ombudsman").

What is good here, is that Excite Mobile was caught and is being punished.

Re:Verizon (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43522961)

What isn't wrong, is that they sent letters of demand to late paying customers. They had every right to do this, even to use a debt collection agency (after a reasonable time) to recoup the loss. This is fine.

Not so sure about that being fine, as this below was also in the article.

Additionally, the company told customers mobile service was available at their premises when it wasnâ(TM)t, including in indigenous communities.

The Federal Court upheld the ACCC's claim that Excite Mobile's âoeday capâ clause was unconscionable. The clause meant any customer making more than one two minute call per day would get charged excess fees over the monthly contract charge, which it did not disclose.

Excite Mobile also included a $75 cool off fee on its contracts as well as a $195 charge for returning a damaged phone.

So you have a contract where you have no coverage or if you do have coverage making more than a 2 minute phone call will generate excess fee's and even if you want to cancel they charge you for that too.

These late payments are not the usual problem of customer not having the money but customers receiving outrageous bills over and above their contracts or not getting the service they were promised.

Mobile phone companies have for years gotten away with charging customers for free phone numbers and not including non geographic phone numbers as part of your bundled minutes. Many big companies use non geographic numbers for their customer support and billing call centres, and usually you are held in a queue paying for it.

However this is a new low even for a mobile phone company, excess charges for day time calls in excess of 2 minutes, would you pay it?

Got to admit even without a contract phone companies still find ways to stitch up their customers.

Three mobile for instance give customers free unlimited data for 30 days and even an extra 10 euro phone credit when a top up of 20 euro is made (topping up twice with 10 euro doesn't count even if the machine will not issue a 20 euro top up).

However day 31 is interesting. last month i had around 25 euro of credit. At 5:30 am i had used about 6 euro of credit on data by 5:34 am a further 12 euro and by 6:30 am my balance had gone.

The key thing to do is to buy a 30 day 500mb add on for 4.99 twice. the 2nd one will get queued. The first one will just expire with no usage and then the 2nd will kick in and probably last for 30 days. As a light user of calls and texts that would leave 5 euro for calls in month1 (typical non free usage) and in the 2nd month I would have 5 euro left but since i wouldn't have free weekend calls and free weekend texts, i'd be out of credit in a week or a fortnight anyway.

Should I be annoyed? well not really I get internet access for 20 euro a month and that is still cheap compared with the other options as landlines have line rental + internet access in the city. The only fast option here is wimaxx which is around 35 euro a month so i'm happy enough with what I have (i'd still have to pay for my mobile as well).

I'm better off than Excites' customers that were suckered into a contract which seemed on paper to be better value than the competition, but with excess usage charges after 2 minutes a day, are in practice more expensive and they have a 2 year lock on the customer
.
At least with my provider i am free to change at any time (my sim remains in service even with no credit for receiving calls). So far I haven't found a better deal and I will not go back to contract phones.

Re:Verizon (1)

mjwx (966435) | about a year and a half ago | (#43531739)

Not so sure about that being fine,

I was referring specifically to the late paying customers, not their other dodgy business practices (which are very dodgy).

So you have a contract where you have no coverage or if you do have coverage making more than a 2 minute phone call will generate excess fee's and even if you want to cancel they charge you for that too.

Which is a separate issue, also caught by the ACCC.

Re:Verizon (1)

blackest_k (761565) | about a year and a half ago | (#43532877)

I don't see how it isn't part of the same issue, why else the phoney (sorry) regulator if not to pretend to address the issue of customers who (quite rightly I would say) thought they were getting ripped off.

I seriously doubt anybody would expect to get anywhere with an industry watchdog if it was just a case of the customer not paying for service received. If the bills were legitimate the real regulator would rule in favour of the company and a real court would rule in favour of the phone company allowing real debt collectors to be used.

At least we agree that the company was very dodgy and has now been shut down .

Carriers (4, Interesting)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516905)

I'm convinced that phone carriers are the spawn of Satan. The ones in the US aren't any better than this and may in fact be worse on many levels. I've worked for two of them and the shit I've seen still keeps me up at night.

I tend to lean more libertarian but every time I recall my past experiences with these fuckers I start screaming for regulation. Just the fact I pay 3 times what Europeans do for half the service is enough to make me want to hang the bastards from trees and through rocks at them.

maybe try throwing rocks through them? n/c (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43516947)

sorry... could not resist

Re:maybe try throwing rocks through them? n/c (1)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517013)

Its ok, it's Monday and I still haven't fully woken up :)

Justaminit (1)

folderol (1965326) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517137)

Oh I don't know... throughing rocks has real class, a certain appeal, and is completely justified :)

Re:Carriers (2)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517025)

I recommend looking at Ting. It's really changed the way I think about cell phone providers (namely: because I used to think they were all collectively evil bastards with the primary goal of screwing you, now I only think they *mostly* are that. :p)

Re:Carriers (1)

geek (5680) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517045)

Ting uses the Sprint network which I am actively trying to get off of. I have dialup speeds in my area and they aren't even putting Idaho on the map for LTE yet. Ting might have good service/plans etc but since they are literally using Sprints network it's still garbage.

Re:Carriers (1)

neminem (561346) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517131)

Ah, fair enough. Yeah, they can't help coverage, since they don't control it. Sprint has great coverage in my area, just crap service and mediocre prices.

I was just saying, there is at least one phone service provider that actually still believes in the power of proper customer service and low prices to get people interested, instead of just saying "everyone else antagonizes and rips off their customers in an attempt to make more money, so why not us too?" Whether they cover your area or not is irrelevant. :p

Satan? No, the damned! (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517245)

US carriers regularly commit 4th circle (greed) sins. This one is clearly an 8th circle (fraud) sin.

The only thing we have to do is actually COMMIT their corporate souls....

Re:Carriers (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518293)

Phone companies are past masters of regulatory capture so it's hard to see that more regulation is going to help. In fact it might play right into their hands.

Technological obsolescence is maybe our best hope.

Re:Carriers (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518627)

We Europeans had some difficulty to getting to where we are now, it can't be done overnight.

First, you need to list every bureaucrat that should be conveniently sent someplace distant for being too bureaucratic.

Then, you have to build a nice big building and call it "something something Parliament", replacing the temporary text with something catchy and important-sounding.

It helps if they're well paid, but if they start asking for more cash, build a second Parliament in some small town in a region that was feeling left out. Have them rotate between the two buildings every few weeks, taking all the paperwork with them. They'll start asking not to have to do the whole circus every few weeks instead of getting a raise.

Finally, give them the right to legislate on all sorts of issues that will affect nearly everyone (like regulating salt and pepper shakers in restaurants and such petty things), including the right to impose fines on large corporations. While it may seem counterintuitive, bureaucrats are indeed human, according to several doctors I've met (it's scary how some human beings can come up with so many forms...), and being human, they will end up acting more or less like your average person when not inside your fancy megabuck building.
This means they will be pissed off when corporations do evil stuff. Since you gave them the right to legislate on these things, they will take a break from their hobbies (regulating petty things, that is) and direct their attention at said evil corporations.

They will occasionally let out some astonishingly weird decisions (Forcing Microsoft to advertise other browsers is a very unusual decision, with no similar thing ever coming to my mind) and some over the top consumer protection (See Mac Pros needing fan grilles on the inside).
However, they will also be a blessing in many situations (Air passenger rights, limits on roaming charges, privacy,...) and will be worth every buck spent on the whole circus.

Re:Carriers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43519005)

We Europeans had some difficulty to getting to where we are now, it can't be done overnight.

First, you need to list every bureaucrat that should be conveniently sent someplace distant for being too bureaucratic.

We Europeans had some difficulty to getting to where we are now, it can't be done overnight.

First, you need to list every bureaucrat that should be conveniently about a foot shorter, and have some handy guillotines nearby for rapidly executing this goal.

There, I think that edit is a bit more honest and efficacious.

Re:Carriers (1)

MtHuurne (602934) | about a year and a half ago | (#43519371)

You're forgetting what might be the most important step:

Set strict rules for campaign contributions, to make sure that corporate "donations" are not a deciding factor in who gets elected. Like other humans, politicians often carry out the orders from the one who pays them.

Prior art (1)

srussia (884021) | about a year and a half ago | (#43516943)

Revenue Act of 1862

What a laundry list! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43517107)

... of offenses. I mean really, after all that why didn't they just shoot some of their customers? They'd probably save legal fees by making everything clear-cut.

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517183)

I'm pretty sure that they can't repossess something for which no money is actually owed unless it was used as collateral for money that can't otherwise be retrieved.

Re:Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517425)

I'm pretty sure that they can't repossess something for which no money is actually owed unless it was used as collateral for money that can't otherwise be retrieved.

The great thing about really 'downmarket' collections strategies is that you only use them on powerless poor people, so your...creative scope...is considerably broader than it might be under other circumstances.

why didn't they use an actual collection agency? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517203)

surely they could have? or did they have actual contracts even?

Re:why didn't they use an actual collection agency (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43517471)

Using a collection agency typically pays much less than the amount of money being collected. They typically work in 2 different ways:

1. The collection agency hounds your customer on your behalf and keeps a percentage of the amount collected.

2. The agency buys the debt from you at a huge discount then pursues the customer to turn a profit.

Pay them with fake money! (1)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517593)

A fake debt collection agency sends out fake dunning notices? Pay them with fake money!! It only seems fair, IMHO. :>)
.
Pick your poison:
-- bitcoin [wikipedia.org]
-- S&H green stamps [wikipedia.org]
-- Canadian tire money [wikipedia.org]
-- Indian Zero Rupee notes [wikipedia.org]
-- Scrip [wikipedia.org] unfortunately does not count, because scrip is defined to be "legal tender" or the "extension of credit"

Re:Pay them with fake money! (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518643)

You forgot copied Monopoly money - emphasis on the 'copied', I'm not giving them my real Monopoly money.

Re:Pay them with fake money! (2)

aiht (1017790) | about a year and a half ago | (#43522583)

You forgot copied Monopoly money - emphasis on the 'copied', I'm not giving them my real Monopoly money.

Don't hand them evidence of copyright violation!

Old News (1)

kevink707 (1331815) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517611)

Based on ACCC files, this is old news (December 2011). http://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/accc-takes-action-against-excite-mobile-pty-ltd [accc.gov.au]

Re:Old News (1)

compro01 (777531) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517851)

The news is them being convicted. Your link is about them pressing charges.

Oh my lord! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43517691)

There's nothing wrong with the bidet, is there???

Did they take a tip from the Americans? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517781)

Debt collectors in the US are terrible people who act without conscience or consequence. Perhaps it was a trans-ocean philosophy exchange?

Re:Did they take a tip from the Americans? (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43521319)

It happens as the result of some genes that get misplaced when their parents were cranking out babies.

Thousands? (1)

reboot246 (623534) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517911)

1074 customers does not mean thousands. One thousand seventy four.

If I've told you once, I've told you a trillion times - never exaggerate!

Re:Thousands? (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43518223)

But the headline said '1000s', not 'thousands'.

So since 1000s could be anything including 16.67 minutes criticism should be more like wtf is 1000s?

Re:Thousands? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43522501)

1000 is "a thousand" 1001 and higher is "thousands". At least that's how it was in the American English textbook I learned from 30 years ago.

Slap on wrist in ... (1)

romanr (113283) | about a year and a half ago | (#43517977)

5 ... 4 .. 3 ... 2 ... 1 ...

Bad Corporation. Bad! Don't do that again!

Re:Slap on wrist in ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | about a year and a half ago | (#43521333)

If people that don't wear ties and don't take Thursdays off to play golf did this, they would be put in jail for 10 years. These guys got to stay out of jail.

Re:Slap on wrist in ... (1)

Drishmung (458368) | about a year and a half ago | (#43521347)

Bad company. Sit. [BANG!]

the company is being forcibly wound up [slashdot.org] and the directors are facing further action.

http://myfootballchanalonlinetv.blogspot.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43523151)

I am a football crazy man. I love football very much. you can watch all football match live in this site so, click- http://myfootballchanalonlinetv.blogspot.com/ its so easy and its free for all. so, enjoy all football match.

I'd like to become rich... (1)

FilmedInNoir (1392323) | about a year and a half ago | (#43524049)

Is the only way now to be an immoral asshole that tramples humanity?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?