Optus Fined $5.26 Million For Misleading Broadband Advertising

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been taking a hard line on misleading broadband advertising for a while now, but this is its biggest penalty yet: Optus has been fined $5.26 million for misleading advertising of two of its broadband plans.

That sum is the largest civil penalty the ACCC has ever seen imposed for consumer protection. Optus' mistake this time around? Not making it clear that if you exceeded either your peak or off-peak allowance, your entire connection would be shaped.

The good news for consumers? That fine should serve as a deterrent from other advertisers trying misleading tactics, a point which ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel was quick to emphasise:

The entire telecommunications industry needs to sit up and take notice. This conduct is not acceptable, and the ACCC will seek the harshest penalties the law allows.

Reading the fine print always makes sense, but it's good to know that blatantly deceptive practices will get punished. Optus has previously been held to account for misleading cap plans and misuse of the word "unlimited".



    Yay! Whenever I saw these ads on TV I always shook my head and wondered if people would read the fine print. I'm glad that the watchdog has stepped in and made an example of these shonky advertising practises.

    It's time people stop misusing the words like Fresh, Organic and Natural as well.

      This came through my RSS dated 8 July @ 12.51am.
      Can you please send through tomorrow's race results and stock market now?

      Or 'chemical free' (unless they're selling a vacuum).

      ...and New!

    isn't this like the 5 time that optus have gotten in trouble for these type of ads?

      They got fined years ago comparing their $49-cap to a standard $40-plan on Telstra. Ads went up for 5-days then went down VERY quickly.

    Who gets the $5.26 million?? How about some credits on by bill! ;)

    ...plus they are still using "cap" to describe MINIMUM spend rather than MAXIMUM spend for mobile phone plans (somthing which I thought was now illegal).

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