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Crackdown on Telco unfair terms

By Claire Barron - 18 Feb 2016

Do you use standard form consumer contracts in your business? If you have not yet had your contracts reviewed for compliance with unfair contract terms, we suggest that you get in touch with us before the Commerce Commission gets in touch with you.

Unfair contract terms affect every standard form contract entered into between a business and a consumer. See the blog we did on the introduction of unfair contract terms last year.

A recent review by the Commission of the telco industry has shown that even contracts used by telco giants Spark and 2Degrees contain potentially unfair terms.  This is despite both companies making real efforts to eliminate unfair terms from their contracts.

Out of the review of the telco industry, the Commission highlighted terms which are potentially unfair. They include terms that:

  • limit or exclude the liability of the company
  • allow the company to unilaterally vary the contract
  • make the customer responsible for unauthorised charges
  • allow the company to avoid liability for consequential loss

The full report published by the Commission which details its review on the telco industry is available here.

This is still a developing area of law, so we are keeping a close eye on guidance such as that issued by the Commission on terms that may be unfair.


Melissa Higham

Claire Barron


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