Telcos on notice

Australian telecommunications companies have been put on notice by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Chairman Rod Sims, to ensure their advertising is clear and transparent.

Earlier in 2018, the ACCC began investigating telcos including Optus, Vodafone and Telstra and their use of the word ‘unlimited’ in relation to promotions within data plans.

The ACCC reported that between the months of March and June 2018, the three telcos advertised mobile data plans with ‘unlimited’ mobile data however these deals had speed caps imposed on users after a certain data threshold was reached.

  • Optus’ ‘unlimited’ plan imposed a 1.5Mbps speed restriction on tethering, streaming and downloads. Heavy data users could also be deprioritised during congestion.
  • Vodafone’s ‘unlimited’ plan provided an initial data allowance at usual speeds, after which all usage was speed capped at 1.5Mbps.
  • Telstra’s ‘unlimited’ plans provided 40GB at usual speeds, after which all usage was slowed to 1.5Mbps and slowed further during busy periods.

ACCC Chair Rod Sims said: “Telecommunications companies should be wary of using absolute claims like ‘unlimited’ where that does not give a true picture to consumers of what is being offered.”

“We have taken a range of actions against telecommunication companies for misleading consumers. It is about time they showed more respect for their customers and the Australian Consumer Law.”

“With much higher penalties now available for breaches of consumer law, I hope they will take their obligations more seriously. From now on consumer law penalties will seriously affect their bottom line, and we will not hesitate to seek the highest possible penalties,” said Mr Sims.

1 thought on “Telcos on notice”

  1. Hi, Unfortunately i seem to be in a terrible position. I have no phone line so mobile broadband is my only option. None of your suggested companies, belong, vivid, etc service my area, which is inner west sydney. I currently have optus with virtually no service, which you mentioned as an option, ( but they didnt admit it was a black spot so the fight is on to get my monies refunded.) The only carrier with reception is Telstra. Spintel can help but i would have to cough up for a landline which my landlords would get the benefit for without the cost. The lack of options is pretty depressing really. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. NBN is not lfor around 18 months minimum. Thanks! vendor information pages

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