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TPG to compensate customers for misleading advertising on NBN speeds

TPG is the third internet service provider to be pulled up for misleading customers about its NBN services, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) announcing the company will compensate almost 8,000 customers.

According to the ACCC, TPG advertised speed tiers of up to 100/40 Mbps – download speeds of 100 Mbps and upload speeds of 40 Mbps – between September 2015 and June 2017.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said, “The technical limitations of NBN’s fibre to the node technology meant many TPG customers could not reach the advertised 100/40 speeds they paid for. Some couldn’t even get half those advertised speeds.

“TPG charged customers higher prices for the promise of faster speeds, misleading many customers into paying a premium price for a service they could not get.”

The ACCC found that 7,509 – or 62 percent – of customers on the 100/40 fibre to the node (FTTN) speed tier could not receive the speeds they purchased, with almost 2,100 of those even unable to reach 50/20 Mbps.

Meanwhile, 42 customers on the 100/40 Mbps fibre to the building (FTTB) customers couldn’t receive the speeds they purchased, and 411 customers on the 25/5 Mbps FTTN plan were unable to receive their purchased speeds.

Affected customers will be able to choose whether they want to exit their plan without cost, or move to a lower tier speed plan with a refund. Those entitled to a refund will receive between $10 and $30 for each month that they paid for their plan.

Telstra was the first provider to be pulled up on failing to deliver on its advertised speeds, with the ACCC in early November announcing the telco would compensate 42,000 customers who had paid for “speed boosts” on the telco’s NBN plans after it was found Telstra was not capable of delivering the specified maximum speeds in “real-world conditions”.

According to the ACCC, Telstra was offering services including a “Super Fast Speed Boost” between September 2015 and November 2017 which advertised download speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 40 Mbps.

The ACCC then last week began proceedings against Optus in the Federal Court, alleging the telco misled customers about how quickly they needed to move from its existing HFC network to the NBN.

The ACCC is alleging that Optus made “false and misleading” representations between October 2015 and March 2017 by writing to customers to advise it was gearing up to disconnect their HFC service within a specific time period as the NBN was coming to their area.

The timeframes specified by Optus were earlier than the telco was contractually allowed to cancel its customers’ services, however.

Noting the fact TPG is the third provider to be found guilty of misleading consumers, Sims said, “Internet service providers must take responsibility to ensure that their customers get the promised speeds that they pay for.”

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