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Optus To Fork Out $1.5m For Misleading Customers

Optus will be paying a hefty $1.5m fine from the ACCC after making misleading representations to customers about their transition from Optus’ HFC network to the NBN.

According to the ACCC, from October 2015 to March 2017, Optus told around 14,000 of its customers that their services would be disconnected (in as little as 30 days in some cases), if they did not move to the NBN.

Under the terms of its contract, Optus could not force disconnection within the time frame it claimed.

The telco also told customers that they had to sign to the Optus’ NBN service, when in reality they could have chosen any internet service provider.

Becuase of this, Optus benefited by around $750,000.

Rod Sims, ACCC Chairman says, “Optus pressured customers by misrepresenting the time period in which services could be disconnected.”

“Businesses should not make false representations which distort customers’ decision making.  This is particularly important when many Australians are moving to the NBN for the first time.

“It is illegal for businesses to mislead their customers and create a false impression through their communications. Today’s penalty serves as a warning to all businesses that such behaviour will be met with ACCC action.”

The ACCC says since the investigation began, Optus has paid $833,000 in compensation to affected customers for the disconnection of their services.

Optus is not the only telco that has been in hot water with the ACCC as Telstra was recently hit with a $10m fine after misleading customers over its third-party billing.

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