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Beware the unrequested bill

WATCH out for correspondence seeking payment for unsolicited directory advertising, warns acting Commission-er for Fair Trading Gary Newcombe.

Mr Newcombe said a number of WA businesses had recently reported receiving correspondence from Switzerland-based company IT&T AG.

“IT&T is sending proposals that cost a business about $995 for an entry in fax directory,” he said.

“The proposals look like invoices for services already authorised.”

The South Perth Business Centre’s Brenton Davidson said his company had been caught up in the scam.

He said his company had received an invoice which his accounting staff took to be a standard advertising invoice.

“Had I not looked more closely, I would probably had paid the invoice,” Mr Davidson said.

“It is, in fact, not an invoice but an order requesting payment of US$965.19 to be paid into a Swiss bank account for an international fax listing of your business.”

Mr Newcombe said businesses with informal accounts payable systems were particularly susceptible.

Mr Newcombe said the Fair Trading Act required directory entries to be authorised in writing.

“If there is a dispute, tell the publisher to send a copy of a signed order form before making payment,” he said.

The Ministry for Fair Trading is contacting its counterparts in Switzerland to make them aware of the practice in the hope it can be stopped.

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