Telstra to contact customers with slow NBN speeds

21 November 2019

Telstra and Belong customers that upgraded to higher-speed NBN plans will be proactively contacted if they are not getting the maximum speed available under the plan.

Under a November 2017 court-enforceable undertaking, Telstra was required to check customers’ broadband speeds if they were connected to the NBN via FTTN or FTTB technology.

If a customer’s connection wasn’t able to get the maximum speeds promised under their plan, Telstra was required to inform the customer of the maximum speeds attainable, and offer a remedy if the customer wanted to change or exit their contract.

But in August 2019 Telstra advised the ACCC that it had failed to check the maximum broadband speeds of 180,000 Telstra or Belong services which moved to a higher-speed tier plan. About 168,000 plans had been upgraded by Telstra or Belong at no extra cost for an unrelated reason.

Telstra’s failure to carry out the speed checks meant that customers were not informed on whether they were getting the maximum speeds promised under the upgraded NBN plans.

It also meant they were not offered options to address slow speeds, such as exiting their contract or receiving a refund.

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.

“Everyone who receives an email or letter from Telstra about their NBN service should take note of the maximum speed they are getting and check that they are not paying for something they are not receiving,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“Your maximum line speed stays the same no matter which provider you’re with, so once you know your maximum line speed, make sure you are getting the best deal available for you."

“We are looking closely at other telcos who gave us similar undertakings to ensure they are checking speeds and providing options to consumers not getting the maximum speeds as promised,” Mr Sims said.

Background

Belong is a wholly owned division of Telstra Corporation Limited.

The ACCC accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Telstra on 7 November 2017, which required Telstra to check the maximum speeds achievable for each of its customers with an FTTN or FTTB connection.

The ACCC accepted court-enforceable undertakings from each of Optus, TPG, iiNet and Internode, and Dodo, iPrimus and Commander for similar conduct.

Release number: 
219/19
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