The Australian Communications and Media Authority has fined seven Aussie telcos for failing to comply with its NBN consumer information standards.
The authority (ACMA) handed out a total of $88,200 in fines to Activ8me, Aussie Broadband, Flip TV, Hello Broadband, Mate Communicate, My Net Fone and Telechoice following investigations.
Under the Telecommunications (NBN Consumer Information) Industry Standard 2018, retail service providers should prepare a “key facts” sheet containing information about NBN services.
“Our standard requires telcos to provide clear and meaningful information about their NBN plans in one-page key facts sheet and in their advertising,” ACMA authority member Fiona Cameron said.
“Failing to give consumers clear and honest information about NBN plans is unacceptable and can lead to misleading conduct as recently highlighted by the recent Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s report.”
The standard, which was introduced in September 2018, is part of a broader suite of rules made by ACMA to “significantly improve” consumers’ experiences when migrating to the NBN.
“Telcos need to provide information that will assist consumers to choose an NBN plan that suits their needs and if they don’t they will be held to account,” Cameron said.
“These financial penalties send a strong message to telcos that they need to comply with the rules.”
Update 9:17am 6 August: Aussie Broadband issued a response on web forum Whirlpool, accepting the ruling and explaining the ACMA's findings.
“We’re disappointed to receive a fine in these circumstances but we understand the ACMA’s position in representing consumers,” Aussie Broadband managing director Phillip Britt said.
“Aussie Broadband has a strong value of transparency in our dealings with customers – proven by practices such as publishing our daily CVC graphs – and we believe recent results such as the independent Canstar ISP customer satisfaction results show that customers appreciate that.
“We look forward to continuing to work with regulators on ways to better improve customer experience.”