Telstra will pay back around 42,000 customers after the telco promoted and sold a number of NBN speed plans that couldn’t actually achieve their top advertised speed in real-world conditions.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says Telstra had advertised a range of different speed plans between September 2015 and November 2017, but limitations on the fibre connections to customers meant that many who paid for the plan were never able to reach the maximum advertised speed of the plan.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said: “Even worse, many of these customers could not receive the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan.”
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“In essence, people were paying more to get higher speeds that they just weren’t able to get.”
In a statement, Telstra admitted that it’s conduct “was likely to have contravened the Australian Consumer Law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations.”
Telstra will now contact affected customers with the option of provide refunds, the changing speed plans, and exiting from the contract without paying a fee.
Mr Sims added that the ACCC was “mindful this is not just a Telstra problem; it is an industry problem where consumers are often not getting the speeds they are paying for.
“We will continue to investigate other retail service providers selling broadband plans over the NBN and take enforcement action where appropriate.
“As we’ve said previously, we expect [registered service providers] to provide consumers with accurate information up front about the internet speeds they can expect to receive, and then deliver on those promises.”