Optus is in trouble with their ‘Think Bigger’ and ‘Supersonic’ broadband promotion which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has labelled “deceptive” and “false” after consumers were found to be only getting 64kbps in some cases.
The ACCC initiated an investigation following complaints by Telstra and other ISPs who said that claims made by Optus “did not stack up”. As a result the ACCC has instituted legal proceedings in the Federal Court, Sydney, against SingTel Optus Pty Limited for alleged breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
The ACCC alleges that Optus engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false representations in relation to the advertising of certain broadband plans.
Under these plans, a customer pays a specified monthly sum and receives a specified data allowance for that month divided into peak and off-peak periods. However, once the customer exceeds the peak data allowance, the internet connection is limited to a speed of 64kbps. The ACCC alleges that Optus did not sufficiently or clearly disclose, and in some cases did not disclose at all, these qualifications.
The ACCC is seeking court orders, including declarations that Optus breached the Act, injunctions, including interlocutory injunctions, civil penalties, corrective advertising and costs.
The matter has been filed in the Federal Court’s Fast Track list, and is listed for a directions hearing on the interlocutory relief at 9.30 a.m. on 16 September 2010 before Justice Perram.