180,000 Telstra NBN Consumers Could Be Up For $341M Payday
Telstra will reportedly review the performance of 180,000 NBN connections to determine whether they are paying more than they should following the National Watchdog’s victory against the Australian telco, forcing them to check customer maximum internet speeds, which could result in refunds of up to $341.82 million.
As reported by YahooFinance, the consumer watchdog had stated that Telstra had self-reported it failed to perform checks on 180,000 NBN broadband connections that were upgraded to higher speed plans.
It comes following ChannelNews coverage of Telstra being forced to proactively inform customers when they are not getting their maximum internet speeds after failing to do so since 2017.
Telstra will now not only have to monitor its NBN internet speeds and inform customers, but some cases will soon be giving refunds to 180,000 customers that were moved to higher speed broadband plans.
Based on Telstra’s 200GB NBN Plan, with a minimum cost of $1,899, the telco could be smacked with a maximum refund bill of $341.82 million if it refunds all 180,000 customers.
As per the ACCC court case, if Telstra fails to meet the maximum internet speeds, the customer is eligible to exit their contract or downgrade to a cheaper plan.
‘Telstra has since committed to contacting all affected customers and refunding those who have been paying for the higher speeds but not receiving them,’ said the ACCC.
Forty-two thousand customers refunds were handed out in November 2017 by Telstra for failing to deliver advertised NBN speeds, with the majority of customers using FTTN or FTTB connections.
The national telco will now be pro-actively moving consumers to lower speed NBN plans ‘if they are not receiving any benefit from being on a higher speed tier NBN plan.’
When speaking to The Australian, a Telstra spokesperson claimed they had found some customers ‘were not hearing from us on the speeds they were receiving’.
The spokesperson also expressed disappointment for letting customers down, describing it as ‘not good enough’.
‘We let the ACCC know and started contacting customers as soon as we found out. Depending on the speed customers were receiving and the plan they’re on, we’re updating their speeds, offering credits or contract termination with no exit fees.’
ACCC Chair Rod Sims is urging Telstra customer to take notice of their maximum speeds ‘to check they are not overpaying ‘.
Sims even suggests users to ‘even consider switching to a different service provider,’ stating that ‘Your maximum speed stays the same no matter which provider you’re with’.
‘Once you know your maximum speed, make sure you are getting the best deal available for you’.