Following similar actions from Telstra, Optus has announced it will be compensating more than 8,700 customers who were “misled about maximum speeds they could achieve on certain Optus NBN plans”.

The news was disclosed through an ACCC announcement, which states that “technical limitations” – to FTTN or FTTB connections – meant certain consumers could not obtain the advertised NBN speeds.

ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, that the regulator is working to fix this “worrying trend”:

“Optus is the second major internet provider we have taken action against for selling broadband speeds they could not deliver to their customers”

“Worryingly, many affected Optus FTTN customers could not even receive the maximum speed of a lower-tier plan. This is a concerning trend we have seen throughout the industry and we are working to fix this”.

Below is a summary of the affected Optus customers:

  • 5,430 (48%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps, and 2,337 (21%) of those consumers could not receive 50/20 Mbps
  • 1,519 (26%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 50/20 Mbps plan could not receive 50/20 Mbps
  • 1,381 (3%) Optus FTTN consumers on a 25/5 Mbps plan could not receive 25/5 Mbps.

NBN Optus Refunds Customers For Misleading NBN Speeds

As per the ACCC’s announcement, Optus is required to contact current and former customers who could not obtain the maximum speed mentioned in their plan.

Below is a summary of the compensation available:

Consumers who purchased an internet-only plan will be offered the option of:

  • remaining on their current plan with no refund;
  • moving to any lower speed plan of their choice and receiving a refund; or
  • exiting their contract without cost and with a refund.

Consumers who purchased NBN as part of a bundle will have the option of:

  • remaining on their current plan with no refund;
  • moving to the base speed for their bundle with a refund and, where applicable, a discount for the remainder of their contract; or
  • exiting their contract (including the bundle) without cost and with a refund.

However, these bundle customers will not be offered the option of moving to a lower-tied speed plan other than the base speed plan with Optus. 

nbn3 Optus Refunds Customers For Misleading NBN Speeds

Optus has admitted that it contravened that Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by promoting and offering speed plans that could not be delivered, and by “engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct”.

“Affected customers should carefully consider the remedies Optus is offering them to assess which best suits their needs. In some cases, consumers may consider it preferable to simply exit their contract with a refund rather than accept a service that does not meet their needs,” Mr Sims asserts.

The ACCC has published a guide for retailers on how to best advertise NBN broadband services, whilst also announcing a broadband performance monitoring program, to give Australian consumers independent information on their broadband speeds.

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