Feature

Call Centre Servicing Australia And NZ Rubbishes Claims Of Illegal Operation

Neither is the company registered with the Legal Practitioner’s Unit or with the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner’s Public Register.
25 Jul 2020 12:39
Call Centre Servicing Australia And NZ Rubbishes Claims Of Illegal Operation
Supercharged Legal Services call centre is located at the BSP Life Centre formerly known as Dominion House at Thomson Street in Suva. Photo: Shalveen Chand

A call centre operating from Suva claims to be carrying out legitimate operations when taking on calls for legal services from Victoria, Australia.

Supercharged Legal Services is a business process outsourcing centre located in the heart of Suva with a target market set in Australia and New Zealand.

However, while its operations are legitimate, questions have been raised on how it has been providing legal services and advice to Australians without having a legal practising certificate.

The company is advertised as Supercharged Legal Services as a law firm in Melbourne and nowhere does it say it operates out of Suva.

Neither is the company registered with the Legal Practitioner’s Unit or with the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner’s Public Register.

Victorian Legal Services Board Commissioner Courtney Keefe confirmed this to the Fiji Sun.

When asked if Supercharged Legal Services was registered in Victoria, the company’s director operations John Harrop said, “yes”.

Supercharged Legal Services director John Harrop.

Supercharged Legal Services director John Harrop.

He said there was no need to register with the Legal Practitioner’s Unit in Fiji because they were just a call centre.

It was advertised using Google Ads, but geo-fenced only to Melbourne. Mr Harrop said that could have been a technical oversight.

After Mr Harrop was questioned about the geo-fence, the site appeared on Google search from Fiji. Prior to this, only people living in Melbourne could access the site.

The telephone number on the website 03 9111 0450 is re-routed to Fiji where the calls are answered by a Fijian.

“Supercharged is a BPO (business process outsourcing) service provider so we charge our customers in Australia and New Zealand a fee for services for us to take care of their business processing outsourcing,” he said.

“We generally specialise in offering marketing and sales services. “In particular, the question you are asking me in regard to Supercharged Legal Services, that is a registered legal service outfit in Australia and we simply provide leads for that service.

“There are no illegal services going on in here. What we are doing is receiving some phone calls for the purpose of the business over in Australia, which is the BPO.

“You have asked me if we do legal work? The answer is no, we just answer some phones and receive some emails for a company that is registered in Australia.

“We don’t speak anything legal, we just forward that to the lawyer, we take the message and forward the details.”

Documents obtained including Microsoft Excel sheets, which are reports of calls made from Fiji and received from Australians seeking legal advice and help.

In most cases, the people are asked to pay first before appointments are made and lawyers get in touch with them.

The call centre is registered as Supercharged Energy Fiji and employs locals.

The call centre also markets solar panels and their installation to areas in New Zealand and Australia.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj

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