ACCC Urges NBN Customers To Pursue Refunds
The ACCC is urging NBN customers to contact their retail service provider (RSP) and check if they’re eligible for a refund, following undertakings the consumer watchdog negotiated with RSPs in the last 15 months.
NBN customers experiencing slow connection speeds are especially encouraged, after several telcos – Telstra, Optus, Dodo, iPrimus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Commander – admitted they made false or misleading representations about fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connection speeds.
RSPs have been slammed by the ACCC for advertising and selling NBN plans with maximum theoretical speeds (e.g. 100Mbps download, 40Mbps upload), when in reality FTTN and FTTB technology restrictions saw many customers unable to access such speeds.
The ACCC has since accepted undertakings from the eight RSPs, claiming they’d contact over 142,000 affected customers with remedial options – e.g. moving to a lower speed plan, exiting their contract or accepting a refunds.
Despite this, ACCC Acting Chair Mick Keogh asserts two out of three affected customers have not responded to their RSP letter, with potential refunds being in the hundreds of dollars.
“Our message to RSPs is that if you advertise a particular connection speed and customers cannot experience that speed, you risk breaching the Australian Consumer Law,” Keogh adds.
“We expect RSPs to provide consumers with accurate information up front about the internet speeds they can expect to experience, and then deliver on those promises.”
Customers who have recently entered a new NBN plan may also be eligible for a refund. Within four weeks, RSPs are required to offer remedy options if connection speeds are below those purchased.
Further information is available on the ACCC’s website here.