[LINK] Telstra's MICA billing system, fundamentally flawed???
russell at ashdown.net.au
Fri Jun 17 15:11:39 EST 2005
Crazy John attacks Telstra
By Michael Sainsbury
Brisbane Courier Mail - 17jun05
TELSTRA's mobile billing system, known as MICA, is fundamentally
flawed and calculations of the commissions it pays its dealers are
wrong, according to an affidavit presented to the Federal Court in
Telstra pays $500 million a year to dealers for signing up new
subscribers and on so-called trailing revenues, a percentage of the
bill for those customers.
The affidavit is part of the court battle between Telstra and its
second biggest mobile phone dealer, Crazy John's.
The affidavit, presented yesterday, is from Crazy John's managing
director, Brendan Flieter. It refers to a conversation he allegedly
had with accounting firm William Buck, which is undertaking an audit
of Telstra's billing and commission systems.
The firm is 18 months into an audit Telstra estimated would take four
to six weeks, Mr Flieter's affidavit says.
Telstra is attempting to make Crazy John's pay back about $15 million
it says are excess commissions.
Under its contract with Crazy John's, Telstra pre-pays monthly
commissions. In dispute is a clause which caps the total annual
commission payable to the dealer.
The broader legal dispute between the two centres on contractual
issues and allegations Telstra's billing and commission systems are
flawed, resulting in Crazy John's being underpaid by Telstra.
The court also heard extensive details of contract negotiations
between Crazy John's executives and Telstra executive Ted Pretty.
Telstra consumer and marketing group managing director David Moffatt
is attempting change all commission arrangements with dealers.
Separately, Telstra spokesman Warwick Ponder said: "The Telstra
commissions payment system will process over half a billion dollars
worth of dealer payments this financial year. Valid dealer queries
account for only about 1 per cent of all payments. The vast majority
of these queries are caused by incorrect data being entered into
Telstra's systems -- human error.
"As we have always said, this case is ultimately about contractual
interpretation and we are confident that our view is correct.
"The auditor has not issued a report (interim or otherwise) and
therefore, at this stage, no conclusions can be drawn.
"The litigation is very much separate from our operational
Mr Flieter declined to comment.
The case was adjourned for further hearing in July.
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