Telecom is vigorously denying allegations that it is “slamming” another carrier which recently signed an interconnection agreement.
“It is not Telecom’s policy to use confidential information which is supplied to us by other carriers,” says Telecom spokesman Clive Litt. “We are vigorously defending similar allegations in the courts. This is a competitive industry and we behave just like any other business when it comes to protecting our market share.”
An employee of the company which is making the charge claims to have been contacted by a Telecom salesperson who highlighted certain benefits and discounts that would be available should the person re-sign with Telecom. The employee had recently switched from Telecom to its employer's business.
The telecommunications company, which did not wish to be named, says it supplies Telecom with a random 10% sample of new signings every month as part of its agreement. The reason given for this is so that Telecom can make projections on capacity issues.
Complaints of this nature are not new in the telecommunications industry, and Clear and Bell South have resorted to the courts to try to get some form of redress over what they see as anti-competitive behaviour by Telecom when it comes to bundling of products.
With the Clear-Bell South case still before the court, neither company felt able to comment on the issue of bundling, although Mark Champion of Bell South says it has been widely reported that a senior Telecom executive intends this practice to be used as part of a win-back situation.
Grant Forsyth of TUANZ describes practices alleged by the customer as a form of hijacking.
Telstra managing director Peter Williamson is more circumspect in his views. “I don’t think [Telecom CEO] Roderick Deane would agree with it. It really comes down to keeping staff under control."
“I honestly don’t believe it’s a policy of Telecom, but it is something it should be vehemently dissuaded internally.”