Optus has agreed to compensate customers it short-changed on mobile data, call and text allowances without notification.
The ACCC accepted a court enforceable undertaking from the telco after an investigation found that Optus customers had received less data than was advertised on three separate occasions in 2015 and 2016.
In each instance, Optus made changes to data inclusions on the some plans, but failed to ensure changes only applied to customers who purchased these products after the cut-off date.
For example, a customer purchased a Huawei E5331 wi-fi modem that was advertised to include 5GB of data if purchased before 31 August 2015. Optus changed the promotion in October to include 2GB of data for the same modem. The customer didn't activate the SIM card they received with the modem until after 31 August, but still received 3GB less than was advertised.
Optus will credit affected customers the amount of data, calls or texts equivalent to the amount they missed out on.
An Optus spokesperson told CRN the telco had taken more steps to rectify the issues to ensure compliance with Australian Consumer Law, including publishing notices in store and on its website and providing an undertaking to implement an upgraded compliance program.
ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said businesses that did not meet their obligations under Australian Consumer Law were likely to face action from the ACCC.
“Customers who chose an Optus Prepaid plan based on its advertised value, but who activated or recharged their SIM card after Optus changed allowances for calls, text and data, received less than they were promised at the time they purchased the plan.”
“Mobile providers must provide the ‘value’ and benefits they advertise. Optus Prepaid customers who may be entitled to a credit should visit the Optus website or the outlet where they bought the prepaid product.”