Australia's ACCC urges NBN users to pursue refunds

23 Jan 2019

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is urging customers of the National Broadband Network's major retail service providers to check if they are entitled to a refund if they have been sold speed plans their infrastructure is incapable of providing.

The regulator has now accepted undertakings from Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Dodo, iPrimus and Commander to refund more than 142,000 NBN customers who had been sold plans with maximum theoretical speeds that they could never experience due to the limitations of FTTN and FTTB technologies.

The operators all agreed to contact the consumers and offer them a range of options, including moving to a lower speed plan or exiting their contract penalty free and receiving a refund.

But according to the regulator, two in three affected customers have not responded to the letter or email from their provider, and may be entitled to refunds that could reach hundreds of Australian dollars.

As part of newly introduced regulations, NBN retail service providers are also required to check the speeds of all customers signing up to a new plan within four weeks of activation. If speeds are below advertised, they must offer customers similar remedy options including refunds.

“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,” ACCC acting chair Mick Keogh said.

“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.”

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