TPG has become the third major telco to agree to compensate its customers over misleading NBN speed advertising, admitting to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission it would refund almost 8000 of its NBN subscribers.
The consumer watchdog reported that between 1 September 2015 and 30 June 2017, TPG sold broadband plans advertising a range of plans, including the top speed tier of 100Mbps download and 40Mbps upload.
The highest-tier plan was advertised as: “Seriously Fast Internet. Up to 100Mbps”.
TPG has admitted this advertising contravened Australian consumer law by promoting and offering speed plans with speeds that could not be delivered, which constituted engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct or making false or misleading representations.
The compensation will cover TPG’s fibre-to-the-node and fibre-to-the-building plans. The ACCC said 7509, about 62 percent, of FTTN customers on 100/40 plans could not achieve the speeds they purchased, with 2088 of those not even able to hit 50/20. The regulator added that 42 100/40Mbps FTTB customers could not achieve the speeds they purchased and 411, or 2 percent, of 25/5Mbps FTTN customers could not hit the speeds they purchased either.
“The technical limitations of NBN’s fibre to the node technology meant many TPG customers could not reach the advertised 100/40 speeds they paid for. Some couldn’t even get half those advertised speeds,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.
“TPG charged customers higher prices for the promise of faster speeds, misleading many customers into paying a premium price for a service they could not get.”
“This is the third major internet provider we have taken action against in the past few weeks. Internet service providers must take responsibility to ensure that their customers get the promised speeds that they pay for.”
Customers will receive refunds on their chosen plans and be allowed to shift a lower tier, or exit their plans completely without cost.
In November, Telstra agreed to compensate 42,000 customers on its NBN services that could not reach the internet speeds they were advertised as capable of. Optus followed suit in December, saying it would compensate 8700 customers.