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Friday, 23 March 2018 12:28

Nearly 6000 to get NBN speed compensation from Vocus Group Featured


Vocus Group subsidiaries Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have agreed to compensate a total of nearly 6000 customers who could not achieve Internet speeds advertised on the NBN plans which they took from these three providers.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement that between 1 October 2015 and 30 June 2017, the three ISPs had advertised a range of speed plans which contained misleading claims.

Those affected include 3384 Dodo customers, 1912 iPrimus customers, and 565 Commander customers were unable to achieve the speeds for which they were paying.

"For example, iPrimus advertised its highest speed plan as 'Download speed: Up to 100Mbps. Upload speed: Up to 40Mbps. 100/40Mbps is as fast as you can get and will surely feed your need for speed',” the ACCC statement said.

The customer watchdog said the majority of the affected customers were using fibre-to-the-node technology:

  • 2436 (70%) Dodo customers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps. Of these, 1037 could not receive even the next lowest tier of 50/20 Mbps;
  • 904 (70%) iPrimus customers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps. Of these, 396 could not receive even the next lowest tier of 50/20 Mbps; and
  • 283 (83%) Commander customers on a 100/40 Mbps plan could not receive 100/40 Mbps. Of these, 104 could not receive even the next lowest tier of 50/20 Mbps.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said the three ISPs had "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".

Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have to contact affected customers by 27 April to detail the form of compensation they will offer.

“Affected customers may prefer to exit their contract with a refund rather than accept a service that does not meet their needs. Dodo, iPrimus and Commander will also be required to tell new customers if they are not getting the maximum speeds advertised to them,” Court said.

“The ACCC has now accepted undertakings from eight Internet service providers, who have all admitted they likely misled customers about Internet speeds.

"As a result of these undertakings, more than 75,000 affected consumers are being contacted by their ISP and offered remedies. New customers will also now be told if they are not getting the maximum internet speeds they were promised.”

Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet and Internode have already reached agreements with the ACCC over compensating customers for unachievable NBN speeds.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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