Wednesday, 27 November 2019 11:49

ACMA formally warns Telstra about excess data usage notices Featured

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ACMA formally warns Telstra about excess data usage notices Image by dongni wang from Pixabay

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has issued Telstra a formal warning for the telco's failure to email more than 150,000 mobile broadband customers about excess data usage, resulting in these people having to fork out for the data.

An ACMA statement said Telstra's systems were configured to send SMS notifications about the usage - but these could not be received by broadband customers who were not connected through a mobile phone account.

ACMA chair Nerida O'Loughlin said Telstra had conveyed the fact that, between September 2013 and May 2019, it had breached its obligations under the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code to inform customers about excess usage.

“Usage notifications give people due warning that they may be about to incur additional charges for their broadband services,” O’Loughlin said.

“The code requires suppliers to send notifications within 48 hours of customers reaching specified data usage quotas on post-paid Internet plans.

“Consumers have a right to make informed decisions about their broadband use, and by failing to send these notifications in the correct format people have had to pay excess usage charges without sufficient warning.”

The ACMA statement said Telstra had refunded all customers who complained and had incurred excess charge of $5 or less. All other affected customers had been advised they could claim a refund using an online form.

“We encourage current or former Telstra mobile broadband customers to contact Telstra for a refund if they believe they incurred excess usage charges as a result of not receiving a usage notification,” O’Loughlin said.

She said any further breaches were likely to result in more serious action.

“The ACMA has asked Telstra to report regularly on its progress of refunding affected customers until all customers have been reimbursed,” O’Loughlin added.

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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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