Three telcos have been charged by New Zealand's consumer watchdog for allegedly sending bills to customers after their contracts ended.

The Commerce Commission has filed charges against Slingshot, Flip and Orcon under the Fair Trading Act alleging the firms made false representations to customers for six years.

The three telcos have a common owner and are all part of Vocus New Zealand - the country's third-biggest internet provider.

The commission alleges the companies issued invoices which included charges to customers for the period after the agreed termination date for their contracts.


"In doing so, the Commission alleges the companies misrepresented their rights to payments because their customers only owed payment for the services provided prior to the agreed termination date."

Vocus chief executive Mark Callander said the company had been co-operating with the Commerce Commission during the investigation.

ark Callander, Chief Executive New Zealand:

"Unfortunately, over a six-year period, a very small percentage of customers leaving Vocus' residential ISPs who had given more than 30 days' notice of termination may have been billed incorrectly on their final bill," Callander said.

"Vocus fixed this issue in early 2018. Vocus has written to all customers affected and offered refunds, and apologised for the mistake."

Callander urged those affected to email the Vocus refunds department if they still have funds outstanding.

The case is due in the Auckland District Court on July 23.