TPG to compensate nbn users for slow speeds

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 20 December, 2017

TPG to compensate nbn users for slow speeds

TPG has become the third major ISP to agree to compensate customers who were sold nbn speed plans that they could not receive, as part of the ACCC’s crackdown on nbn advertising.

TPG will offer remedies for nearly 8000 customers on fibre to the node (FTTN) and fibre to the building (FTTB) nbn plans, including refunds.

The ISP made the undertaking after the ACCC found that 62% of customers sold nbn plans of “up to” 100 Mbps downlink and 40 Mbps uplink could not receive the speeds they purchased. Of these 2088 could not even receive the next highest speed tier of 50 Mbps download 20 Mbps upload.

In addition, 4% of TPG’s nbn FTTB customers and 2% of FTTN customers subscribed to 25 Mbps download 5 Mbps upload speed plans could not receive these speeds.

As part of the undertaking, TPG will offer customers a refund of between $10 and $30 for each month they paid for their plan, and will be given the option to move to a lower speed tier plan or exit their plan without cost.

The company has committed to contacting affected customers by 2 March to tell them about the maximum speed their connection can achieve and explain their compensation options.

But this will be complicated by the fact that TPG no longer offers a 25 Mbps downlink 5 Mbps uplink plan, so customers wishing to downgrade to this tier will need to switch to another provider.

TPG’s undertaking follows similar commitments from Telstra and Optus, and forms part of an ACCC crackdown on an issue the regulator has said is an industry-wide issue.

“This is the third major internet provider we have taken action against in the past few weeks. Internet service providers must take responsibility to ensure that their customers get the promised speeds that they pay for,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

Meanwhile the ACCC has released a discussion paper seeking feedback on its inquiry into nbn wholesale service standards — a key component of the commercial arrangements between nbn co and its retail service provider customers that affect nbn customer experiences.

The discussion paper seeks views on the service levels nbn co commits to around connections, fixing faults and appointments as part of its wholesale contracts with ISPs. The inquiry will consider whether regulation is needed to improve customer experiences.

“[The] nbn is now in its peak rollout phase and the ACCC is concerned that complaints about connecting to services, including missed appointments and having faults repaired, will continue to grow unless improvements are made now,” Sims said.

“This inquiry will consider whether there are appropriate incentives for nbn co to remedy service failures. We will also look at the compensation made available by nbn co to ISPs, which are responsible for providing redress directly to consumers when things go wrong.”

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