Dodo & iPrimus Under Fire Over False Broadband Speed Claims
The ACCC has commenced court proceedings against Vocus-owned Dodo and iPrimus following claims it mislead customers about NBN broadband speeds achievable during busy evening hours.
The consumer watchdog alleges between March 2018 – April 2019, both companies’ websites advertised misleading speeds for the busy 7pm – 11pm period.
The allegations are a potential breach of Australian Consumer Law, mandating service providers avoid false or misleading representations about service characteristics.
“We believe many of Dodo and iPrimus’ NBN customers would have been unable to regularly receive the advertised speeds during the busy evening period of between 7pm–11pm,” states ACCC Chair, Rod Sims.
The ACCC has instituted Federal Court proceedings against both companies, arguing iPrimus and Dodo used a “fundamentally flawed testing methodology” – not a “reasonable basis” for typical evening speed advertising claims.
“It is alleged that the testing methodology determined the ‘typical evening speed’ claims by using only the daily 75 fastest speeds observed across Vocus’ entire network in the busy period, excluding slower speeds where a connection was more likely to be impacted by congestion,” remarks Mr Sims.
The ACCC is seeking declarations, penalties and costs, adding Dodo and iPrimus’ broadband speeds have “consistently performed” towards the lower end of the nine NBN providers’ measured and reported.
“How broadband speeds hold up during busy evening periods is a critical issue for many consumers, and all service providers must have a reasonable basis for the broadband speed claims that they make,” asserts Mr Sims.
Back in August 2017, the ACCC published its Broadband Speed Claims Guidance to assist providers in claims about their performance.
The watchdog claims iPrimus and Dodo’s testing methodology was not consistent with this guidance, and did not maintain a randomly selected consistent test sample over the test period.