No par­don for Aust Hear­ing Services

Pharmacy Daily - - News -

THE Aus­tralian Com­pe­ti­tion and Con­sumer Com­mis­sion has ac­cepted a court en­force­able un­der­tak­ing from Aus­tralian Hear­ing Services which has ad­mit­ted con­duct in breach of Aus­tralian Con­sumer Law.

Penal­ties of al­most $40,000 were also paid in re­la­tion to in­fringe­ment no­tices is­sued by the ACCC al­leg­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion en­gaged in false or mis­lead­ing con­duct in con­nec­tion with the sup­ply of hear­ing services.

The ACCC high­lighted Hear­ing Help, a ser­vice pro­vided un­der the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment Hear­ing Services Pro­gram, which claimed to be “un­bi­ased” but in fact had a pri­mary ob­jec­tive of in­creas­ing re­fer­rals to Aus­tralian Hear­ing.

The com­pany also falsely rep­re­sented that Hear­ing Help was gov­ern­ment funded, whereas in fact it is en­tirely funded by Aus­tralian Hear­ing which mainly op­er­ates on a “for profit” ba­sis.

Clients of the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment Hear­ing Services Pro­gram were also sent re­newal let­ters falsely claim­ing that pay­ment for an­nual subscriptions for main­te­nance services for hear­ing aids was manda­tory.

The ACCC said it was the sec­ond time it had re­cently acted against a hear­ing services provider.

“The cus­tomers of th­ese busi­nesses are of­ten vul­ner­a­ble due to their hear­ing loss or age, and are of­ten on a pen­sion... we will con­tinue to take en­force­ment ac­tion to pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble con­sumers,” said ACCC com­mis­sioner Sarah Court.

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