Telstra 5G records a download speed of 7.3 Gbps

The ACCC has launched federal court proceedings against Telstra for allegedly making false or misleading representations about the upload speeds for residential broadband customers of its cheaper brand, Belong.

The court proceedings come after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission alleged in October and November 2020 that Telstra migrated almost 9,000 customers who had a Belong NBN plan with a maximum download speed of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and a maximum upload speed of 40Mbps, to a service with a maximum upload speed of 20Mbps.

The ACCC alleges that Telstra failed to notify customers of the reduction in upload speeds and did not reduce their charges, despite the fact that the cost charged by NBN Co to Telstra was $7 less per month for the new service.

“We allege that 8,897 consumers who signed up for a Belong NBN plan between May 2017 and October 2020 were affected by this change and deprived of the opportunity to make an informed decision about their Internet service.” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.

{pedro load position}

In March and April 2021, Telstra acknowledged this failure with respect to approximately 2,500 customers and provided them with a one-time credit of $90.

“We allege that Telstra has yet to inform Belong’s more than 6,300 customers that their plan has changed to a lower maximum upload speed, and that Telstra continues to tell them that the Belong broadband service provided to them has not been altered. ”. Carver said.

“In these circumstances, we are seeking a court order requiring Telstra to pay compensation to consumers who we allege did not get the service they purchased.”

Telstra’s general customer service conditions contain the following clause: ‘Our right to migrate your service: If we give you reasonable notice, we may migrate you to an alternative service or pricing plan. If you are not satisfied with the alternative service or price plan, you can cancel your service and any ETC [early termination charges] will be renounced.’

“We expect a company of Telstra’s size and experience to take its obligations under the Australian Consumer Law very seriously, including those prohibiting misleading or misleading conduct and false or misleading representations,” Commissioner Carver said.

The ACCC seeks pleas, penalties, consumer relief, costs, and other orders.

Telstra is Australia’s largest retail provider of mobile phones and phone and data services for mobile phones and tablets, offering prepaid and postpaid services to its customers.

Belong is a division of Telstra that offers low-cost internet and mobile services. Belong operates semi-independently in various areas, including products, marketing, services, billing and, in part, IT, but is not a separate legal entity.

By way of background, the ACCC notes that upload speed refers to the speed at which an Internet connection can allow data to be sent from Internet-connected devices, including when sending emails or streaming video conferences.

“Upload speeds matter as people increasingly rely on broadband for work, study and entertainment at home, and on upload speeds for video conferencing and large file sharing that used to be done in the workplace. work and educational institutions.

“In May 2020, NBN Co launched new wholesale consumer speed tiers, including a new wholesale speed tier of 100/20Mbps, which costs retail service providers $7 less per month than the 100/40Mbps plan at wholesale level.

“Prior to migrating Belong customers to the 100/20 tier, Telstra determined how well they were using upload capacity by measuring the amount of data uploaded over multiple intervals, averaged over a five-minute period. However, this may have underestimated the client’s peak usage, since 30-second increments are more commonly used as the period over which speed is measured. This means that some customers using high upload speeds may have received slower upload speeds due to Telstra’s actions.

“In November 2022, Federal Court ordered Telstra to pay $15 million in fines after they admitted to making false or misleading representations to consumers when promoting certain NBN internet plans.

“In October 2022, the ACCC published a revised industry guide to broadband speed complaints to promote more transparent information on upload speeds in broadband services provided to consumers.

In May 2022, the Federal Court ordered Telstra to pay $50 million in fines for engaging in unfair conduct when he sold mobile phone contracts to more than 100 indigenous consumers, in proceedings initiated by the ACCC.

“In April 2018, Telstra was ordered to pay $10 million in fines for making false or misleading representations to customers in connection with its third party billing service known as ‘Premium Direct Billing’.

“In November 2017, Telstra agreed to offer remedies to around 42,000 Telstra and Belong customers for promoting some of its NBN speed plans as capable of offering specific top speeds, when those top speeds could not be achieved under real-world conditions,” the ACCC concluded.