A new band of providers has joined Telstra and Optus on the growing list of Australia ISPs being made to compensate customers over shoddy NBN claims.
The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) has ruled that iiNet, Internode, iPrimus, Commander and Dodo must repay tens of thousands of customers who could not reach promised internet speeds on their NBN contracts, bringing the total number of affected customers to 75,000.
iiNet and Internode were the first to be identified by the ACCC last Tuesday, with 8,000 iiNet customers and 3,000 Internode customers found to have been delivered services slower than what they were promised.
ACCC Commissioner, Sarah Court, said the ISPs were aware they had misled their customers.
“iiNet and Internode have admitted that between 2015 and mid-2017, they both likely engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct or made false or misleading representations by promoting and offering NBN plans with maximum speeds that could not be delivered,” she said.
Both iiNet and Internode advertised speeds of “up to 100Mbps”, with iiNet adding that “this is our fastest option and is sure to impress.”
However, 7,621 (64%) of customers on an iiNet 100/40 Mbps FTTN plan were left unimpressed, while 1,720 (34%) of Internode customers on the 100/40 Mbps FTTN option were delivered speeds below what was promised.
Court confirmed that “many customers could not reach the maximum speeds advertised by iiNet and Internode because their NBN connection was not capable of delivering it.”
It was also revealed that some customers could not receive the maximum limit of lower speed plans.
Shifting the Vocus
Following the iiNet and Internode revelations, it was then revealed last Friday that Dodo, iPrimus and Commander would also have to follow suit.
The three ISPs, which are all subsidiaries of parent company Vocus, were alleged to have misled more than 5,000 customers from October 2015 to June 2017.
The issue again centered around the 100/40 Mbps FTTN plans.
“Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have admitted that by offering speed plans that could not be delivered, they likely breached consumer law by engaging in misleading or deceptive conduct and making false or misleading representations,” Court said.
Both Dodo and IPrimus did not deliver promised speeds to 70% of their customers.
Commander was the worst of the lot, with 83% of customers on a 100/40 Mbps plan unable to receive promised speeds.
The bigger picture
The ACCC’s findings on Friday mean a total of eight Australian ISPSs have now been found to have misled customers over NBN speeds.
It began in November last year when it was announced that Telstra would have to compensate 42,000 customers over false speed claims.
Optus and TPG were next in December, having to repay 9,000 and 8,000 customers respectively.
“The ACCC has now accepted undertakings from eight internet service providers, who have all admitted they likely misled customers about internet speeds,” said Court.
“As a result of these undertakings, more than 75,000 affected consumers are being contacted by their internet service provider and offered remedies.
“New customers will also now be told if they are not getting the maximum internet speeds they were promised.”
All affected customers will be contacted by 27 April by their ISP to explain compensation options.