TPG joins Optus and Telstra in the ACCC’s bad books

Matt Sayer 20 December 2017 NEWS

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Around 8,000 TPG customers haven't received the NBN speeds they've been paying for.

In the span of just two weeks, no less than three Australian telcos have found themselves in the ACCC's sights for misleading customers with promises of NBN speeds they couldn't actually receive.

First it was Telstra, with the telco responding to the ACCC's investigation into underperforming NBN connections by compensating around 42,000 of its customers who were unable to enjoy the maximum speeds advertised on their purchased plans. Next up was Optus, with more than 8,700 of its customers identified by the ACCC as recipients of Internet connections inferior to what they'd been promised.

Today, a third company joins the ranks of scolded telcos, with the ACCC finding that nearly 8,000 of TPG's broadband customers were misled by the speeds cited on their NBN plans. Customers on fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) and fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) plans were sold speeds of up to 100Mbps, but physical constraints of the NBN network prevented TPG from delivering on these speeds.

"The technical limitations of NBN’s fibre to the node technology meant many TPG customers could not reach the advertised 100/40 speeds they paid for," said ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. "Some couldn’t even get half those advertised speeds."

According to the ACCC investigation, a staggering 62% of FTTN customers on 100/40Mbps plans couldn’t hit those speeds, with 2,088 of those customers incapable of even hitting 50/20Mbps, half that of the speed they were paying for. 4% of FTTB customers on 100/40Mbps couldn't receive their full speeds, either, while 2% of FTTN customers on 25/5Mbps suffered slower speeds than they'd been promised.

In acknowledging that it likely broke the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by misrepresenting maximum speeds, TPG has promised to offer affected customers the option to move to a lower-tier speed plan and receive a refund, or exit their plan entirely without penalty and also receive a refund. The refund will amount to between $10 and $30 for each month a customer was paying for their sub-par service.

Affected customers will be contacted by TPG by 2 March 2018, either via email or a letter. TPG has also promised to be more transparent with its advertised speeds in the future.


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