Story image

AU couple bullied into buying 1700 years of printer ink get comeuppance

15 Mar 17

Don’t we all love cold callers?

A tribunal has found cold calling salespeople from a Melbourne-based office supplies company to have acted illegally.

The company bullied a Queensland farming couple with one home printer into buying enough ink to last them nearly 1700 years.

Beginning in mid 2015, salespeople from Corporate Office Supplies began making multiple cold calls to the home of the farming couple, the Sharps.

Mrs Sharp told the tribunal the company refused to take no for an answer, so she eventually gave in and bought 56 cartridges, far more than she would ever need – the couple on average went through one every ten months.

You’d think that with that, the cold callers would have given up, but they continued to pester Mrs Sharp with calls, going on to sell her vouchers for another 1,984 cartridges.

Totalling nearly $80,000, Mrs Sharp didn’t tell her husband, and shortly after the purchases were made the company began making aggressive demands for debt collection – some phones calls were fielded by the couple’s young son.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) deputy president, Ian Lulham determined Corporate Office Supplies had acted unconscionably in selling the "frankly ridiculous quantity" of cartridges to a family with a single printer.

"[They] may as well assert that Mrs Sharp agreed to buy the Sydney Harbour Bridge," Mr Lulham notes.

"It is not overstating the position to say that any business which sold over 2000 cartridges to a business that owned one printer acted unlawfully.”

Corporate Office Supplies has been ordered to pay more than $90,000 to the Queensland cattle farmers.

The company’s CEO, 28 year-old James Murray, is very active on social media, regularly making posts that reveal how the business has helped to finance his glitzy lifestyle, including BMWs and nights out in Vegas.

How blockchain will impact NZ’s economy
Distributed ledgers and blockchain are anticipated to provide a positive uplift to New Zealand’s economy.
25% of malicious emails still make it through to recipients
Popular email security programmes may fail to detect as much as 25% of all emails with malicious or dangerous attachments, a study from Mimecast says.
Human value must be put back in marketing - report
“Digital is now so widely adopted that its novelty has worn off. In their attempt to declutter, people are being more selective about which products and services they incorporate into their daily lives."
Wine firm uses AR to tell its story right on the bottle
A Central Otago wine company is using augmented reality (AR) and a ‘digital first’ strategy to change the way it builds its brand and engages with customers.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Protecting organisations against internal fraud
Most companies tend to take a basic approach that focuses on numbers and compliance, without much room for grey areas or negotiation.
Telesmart to deliver Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams
The integration will allow Telesmart’s Cloud Calling for Microsoft Teams to natively enable external voice connectivity from within Teams collaborative workflow environment.
Jade Software & Ambit take chatbots to next level of AI
“Conversation Agents present a huge opportunity to increase customer and employee engagement in a cost-effective manner."