Back in 2017, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Telstra to court for promising customers speeds that it – and the customers’ NBN connections – could not possibly deliver. One of the outcomes of that court case was that Telstra would proactively check its NBN customers’ maximum internet speeds and allow customers not receiving speeds they paid for to leave their contracts or downgrade without penalty to a slower plan.
Yahoo Finance reports that this week, Telstra self reported to the ACCC that it had failed to carry out these checks for 180,000 broadband customers that were moved to higher-speed plans. In short, those customers may have upgraded to a higher speed plan in the hopes that they would get a faster connection, and – if they found they did not – they would be stuck with that higher monthly commitment.
Affected customers were those Telstra NBN customers (and those of its subsidiary Belong) which were connected over Fibre to the Node (FTTN) or Fibre to the Basement (FTTB) connections.
According to the ACCC:
“Telstra has since committed to contacting all affected customers and refunding those who have been paying for the higher speeds but not receiving them.
It will also pro-actively move consumers to a lower speed NBN plan if they are not receiving any benefit from being on a higher speed tier NBN plan.”
ACCC chair Rod Sims encouraged every Telstra customer to check the maximum speeds they receive over their NBN connections and – if they’re too slow – to contact Telstra to seek a resolution.
For those customers receiving slower speeds, there may be providers offering cheaper plans than Telstra, and it’s worthwhile for customers to look at what’s available and find the right plan (and plan cost) for them.