Optus to compensate nbn customers over slow speeds

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 11 December, 2017

Optus to compensate nbn customers over slow speeds

Optus has followed Telstra in agreeing to compensate customers who had been sold nbn plans that could not match the speeds advertised.

Optus has submitted an enforceable undertaking to offer remedies to more than 8700 customers over misleading advertising of nbn plans.

The ACCC took action against the company after finding that for a nearly two-year period until June 2017, ACMA had been offering nbn services advertising a range of speed plans that the technical limitations on customers’ FTTN and FTTB connections meant it was incapable of delivering.

The investigation found that 48% of Optus FTTN customers sold a 100 Mbps download 40 Mbps upload plan could not receive these speeds, and 21% could not even receive the next highest speed tier of 50 Mbps download 20 Mbps upload.

In addition, 26% of Optus FTTN customers on the mid 50 Mbps tier and even 3% of FTTN customers on the base 25 Mbps plan could not receive the promised speeds.

In making its undertaking, Optus admitted that it likely contravened Australian competition law with its advertising. The undertaking details remedies including refunds, moving speed plans, discounted speed plans and offering a contract exit without a break fee.

Like Telstra before it, Optus has also committed to check within four weeks of connecting a customer to a new nbn speed plan to check whether they are getting the advertised speeds they are paying for and to proactively contact customers and offer remedies when the connections fall short.

“Optus is the second major internet provider we have taken action against for selling broadband speeds they could not deliver to their customers,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“Worryingly, many affected Optus FTTN customers could not even receive the maximum speed of a lower-tier plan. This is a concerning trend we have seen throughout the industry and we are working to fix this.”

In November, Telstra agreed to compensate around 42,000 customers over the same issues. At the time, the ACCC made clear that such problems are ubiquitous across the industry and that action against other providers will be forthcoming.

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