Exetel demands public apology from Telstra

Internet service provider (ISP) Exetel has taken Telstra to court for allegedly breaching the Trade Practises Act and giving Exetel a bad name. 

Telstra listed Exetel with a credit reference company called Veda Advantage in 2008 in relation to three bills that, according to the telecommunications giant, Exetel had defaulted on.
Veda Advantage is a company that helps Australian and New Zealand business consumers determine the credit record of other businesses.

Exetel claims that these listings are false, and that Telstra is breaching Section 52 of the Trade Practices Act. This section deals with misleading and deceptive conduct.

Exetel does not pay its bills to Telstra Wholesale, it is a customer of Optus. Optus in turn is a customer of Telstra’s. Exetel claims that the bills were not Telstra’s to report. This means that the listing with Veda was wrong and the information Telstra gave to Veda was deceiving.

The ISP, based in New South Wales since 2004, is claiming that this information has mislead potential creditors, and is demanding an apology.

In Exetel’s claim statement lodged with the NSW Federal Court, they would like Telstra to make up for the misleading behaviour by placing an advertisement in The Australian, the national NewsCorp newspaper.

Exetel has requested that the apology in The Australian should be at a particular size and show Telstra's logo (also at a prescribed size).

Justice Moore will conduct the first hearing on March 24.