Starlink receives warning for breaching consumer advertising rules in Australia

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found SpaceX breached consumer advertising rules for failing to disclose the end date of a ‘limited-time offer’ on its website.

The breach, as identified by ACMA in an investigation report published on September 19, 2023, is related to the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code, which specifies that companies must include end dates for special promotions in advertising materials. In this case, Starlink had failed to publish the end date of a special promotion when advertising a ‘limited-time offer’ for discounts on Starlink hardware.

ACMA’s investigation included a screenshot from June 1, 2023, showing the Starlink Australian homepage with the special promotion for rural customers, but without an end date. On July 26, before the agency published the results of their investigation, the website was updated to clarify that the offer expired on August 15.

The investigation was launched following a consumer complaint.

The regulatory body has issued a formal direction to comply with the code, warning Starlink of potential consequences if it fails to do so. These consequences include the issuance of an infringement notice or an application to the Federal Court for a pecuniary penalty, which could amount to as much as $250,000.

Starlink has been running a similar promotion for rural Canadians since May. When that promotion was launched it was also listed as being available for a limited time and without an end date. Last month the company updated the website to disclose that the promotion ends on September 30, 2023.

You can read the AMCA’s full investigation below.

Final Investigation Report – Starlink
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