One Internet supplier has agreed to refund up to $360,000 to around 16,000 customers, having admitted to the ACCC that it misled consumers when advertising its entry-level NBN broadband plans as “perfect for streaming”.
From November 2015 to March 2018, Dodo advertised its NBN broadband plans as optimal for streaming, including plans with maximum speeds of 12 megabits per second (Mbps).
ACCC chair Rod Sims noted that Dodo customers on the plans could not reliably stream high-quality video, particularly when others in the household were using the internet at the same time — at 12 Mbps, consumers could not stream ultra HD video at all.
Some of the plans also only had 10 gigabytes (GB) of included data, which would be used up after only streaming around two or three movies, the regulator said.
Dodo admitted its conduct was likely to be false or misleading and in contravention of the Australian Consumer Law during the court-enforceable undertaking to the ACCC.
“According to Netflix, high-definition streaming uses up to 3GB of data per hour. With these plans, a customer would have to pay extra if they streamed just two or three movies,” Mr Sims said.
“We don’t believe NBN plans with just 10GB of included data are ‘perfect for streaming’. Consumers rely on how internet providers describe their services when choosing the best broadband plan for their needs, so these descriptions must be accurate.
“It is simply unacceptable for an internet service provider to tell consumers that their services are ‘perfect’ for a particular use, and to then charge them extra when they use the services as advertised.”
Dodo will be providing refunds to around 16,000 current and former Dodo customers on affected plans who incurred excess data charges during the period when the “perfect for streaming” advertisements were published.
Customers who were subject to excess data charges and are still with Dodo will be given the option to exit their contract at no cost.
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