ACCC To Push For Better ISP Disclosures About Shaping

We told you back in September that the ACCC was taking Optus to court over whether its shaping policies for broadband plans were adequately disclosed in advertising. Yesterday, the Federal Court found against Optus, and the ACCC says it will continue to pursue companies that don't make their broadband policies transparent.

The essence of the ACCC's objection was that while Optus advertised a split peak/off-peak service — something which is common on all kinds of broadband plans — it failed to adequately disclose that the service would be shaped to 64Kbps once the peak limit was reached, essentially rendering the off-peak component unusable. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel summed up the issue:

Consumers were told in these ads that they were going to get a certain amount of broadband, and only after you work through confusing and vague disclaimers that you realise that it's just not the case. Consumers and the ACCC are, frankly, tired of telcos using complex, confusing and deceptive advertising to fool consumers. This should serve as yet another reminder, that if these companies don't clean up their act, the ACCC will be here to take you to task, and you can expect to be hit with the full force of the law.

ACCC


Comments

    I agree. Not only we have to put up with substandard speed but crap conditions also.

    My internet constantly drops out. It took optus 3 weeks to reply after I called to complain about it (in the end I went to the Telco Ombudsmen) they were forced into action.

    Though I still have issues with my internet intermittently now.

    Took me three month, ~10 calls total of 4 hours to terminate my old phone connection with telstra, 2 month for my homeowner, 15 calls mostly ending in a queue without connection after 30min, several emails and my tries as he is overseas (I am not allowed to cancel the service in his behalf and he ends in the same queue calling from overseas) to cancel his bigpond (per post letter), we were still not able to change his home phone account to a cheaper contract even over internet confirmation after changing it, twice.
    TPG and others are not better, disconnecting old internet with 80$fee and reconnecting to new location was about to reset my contract to 12 month. Took me lots of calls and complains (per email to complaints) as the call agent was not willing to escalate to get this contract length down to the old limit.
    Mobile phones are worse. Telstra not accepting third party unlocked blackberries, optus with blackouts all the time, several updates month later no help. Swapped to iphone to get less phone quality less battery power but lots of apps for money (which you can't keep to another non iphone or a second, no backup or offline usage)
    Wireless internet expires after 30 days, wireless stick no longer useable, telstar shop can't help with any of the complains or services at all, no person to speak to without going through the helpdesk answer machine asking hundreds of times what my telstra phone number is even if I don't have one; service agents hanging up as soon they find out you try to complain or ask to speak clearly or raise the voice as it seems too low....

    yeah.. hate those lame telcos - especially optus and telstra...

    I dont see that fuss. I just went through moving all my phones and internet connections from one provider to another, and because I actually read the T&Cs unlike 99.9% of people, I realised that Optus deal wasnt for me and went elsewhere.

    If an internet plan says UNLIMITED, the first thing I look for is a shaping clause...or actually call the company and ask.

    Do your due diligence people. You cant have every single element of a deal spelled out in bright red flashing text at the top of every ad. Read, read and read some more. The Ombudsman and ACCC have better things todo than take Telcos to court because people whinge they got shaped. Take some responsibility.

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