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Refunds unclaimed by thousands of NBN customers

Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti
23 January 2019 1 minute readShare
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Refunds worth up to hundreds of dollars are being left unclaimed by NBN customers, after the competition regulator intervened over misleading advertising on internet speeds.

The ACCC has urged NBN customers who are experiencing slow internet connections to reach out to their internet provider, as they may be entitled to have some of their bills refunded.

It follows admissions by a number of internet service providers — Telstra, Optus, TPG, iiNet, iPrimus, Dodo and Commander — that they had likely misled customers about connection speeds on NBN plans.

According to the regulator, the telcos had advertised and sold NBN plans using maximum theoretical speeds, where such speeds could never realistically be attained because of the limitations of the fibre to the building or fibre to the node technologies being used to deliver the service.

All eight companies have agreed, since November 2017, to contact more than 142,000 customers affected to offer redress, including refunds.

Yet despite money being on the table for customers, the vast majority have not yet claimed their entitled refunds.

This includes customers who may have signed up more recently, given that the providers are required to check the speeds of new customers within four weeks, and offer remedies if the speeds achieved fall below that advertised under the plan.

“A large proportion, two in three affected consumers, have not responded to the letter or email from their RSP. They may be eligible for refunds, some in the hundreds of dollars,” ACCC acting chair Mick Keogh said.

“The ACCC is urging NBN customers to contact their NBN retailer if they have received a letter or email offer of a remedy, or think they might be entitled to a remedy.”

Mr Keogh added: “We expect RSPs to provide consumers with accurate information up front about the internet speeds they can expect to experience, and then deliver on those promises.”

In late 2018, the ACCC revealed its latest report on NBN access, and found that speeds are virtually identical between metropolitan and regional areas, and that overall speeds are continuing to improve.

Refunds unclaimed by thousands of NBN customers
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Adam Zuchetti
Adam Zuchetti

Adam Zuchetti is the former editor of MyBusiness and a senior freelance media professional, specialising in the fields of business, personal finance and property. In 2020, he also embarked on his own business journey – inspired in part by the entrepreneurs and founders he had met through his journalistic work – with the launch of customised pet gifting and subscription service Paws N’ All.

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