Telstra Offers to Refund Customers that Experienced Slow NBN Connections

December 8, 2017

Is this a decision to make things right or an effort to save their public image?

Internet Service Provider (ISP) Telstra stated its willingness to provide compensation around 42,000 customers who are experiencing discrepancies with their National Broadband Network (NBN) internet connection. Telstra has admitted that they may have misled customers on their advertised download and upload speeds. This is considered a breach of the Australian Consumer Law.

Imagine, those customers connected to the ISP are suffering this type of service. Fortunately, customers affected will be getting a refund. The ISP also gave their customer a choice, whether to change plans or leave the contract altogether.

“We are pleased that Telstra proactively reported this serious problem to the ACCC and has cooperated in creating a remediation plan for affected customers,” Mr Sims said via ABC News. “However, we are mindful this is not just a Telstra problem; it is an industry problem where consumers are often not getting the speeds they are paying for.”

For two years, between September 2015 and November 2017, Telstra advertised their available internet speed plans on both brands, Telstra and Belong. Their advertisements said the download speed would reach 100 megabits per second (Mbps), and maximum upload speeds of 40 Mbps. Unfortunately, this isn’t what customers are experiencing.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) stepped in and investigated the issue. The watchdog came out with answers, saying customers really didn’t get the speed they’re paying for. It said advertised speeds “could not be achieved in real-world conditions”. ACCC clarified the reason, pointing out the limitations of the customers’ fibre to the node (FTTN) and fibre to the building (FTTB) internet connections as the culprit.

“Our investigation revealed many of Telstra’s FTTN and FTTB customers could not receive the maximum speed of their plan,” said ACCC chairman Rod Sims via ABC News. “Even worse, many of these customers could not receive the maximum speed of a lower-speed plan.”

The numbers are shocking since thousands of people are experiencing such connection problems. ACCC found 26,497 FTTN customers (56 per cent) subscribed to the top 100/40 Mbps plan has not reached the maximum speed promoted, while 9,606 customers cannot even experience half the promoted speed.

Meanwhile 45 per cent of FTTN customers subscribed to the 50/20 Mbps plan can’t even use it right.

But this is not only Telstra’s problem, but the whole industry’s problem. There are a lot of Australians who’re not experiencing the speed that they’re paying for. The ACCC should start investigating other ISP as well, since Telstra is just a part of the industry.