Slower Than Advertised NBN Speeds? You May Be Entitled To A Refund

Slower Than Advertised NBN Speeds? You May Be Entitled To A Refund
Image: SMH / Adam Turner

The ACCC has been super hot on misleading claims about the speeds consumers can receive on NBN plans and have today announced the Dodo, iPrimus and Commander customers will be compensated for receiving subpar service. This action follows on from previous announcements over the past few months that Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet customers may also be eligible for compensation.

Here’s what you need to know if your NBN has been miserable and how you might be able to get a refund.

Announced by the ACCC today, all three subsidiaries of Vocus Group Limited – Dodo, iPrimus and Commander – are offering compensation to customers affected by slow NBN speeds between October 1 2015 and June 30 2017. During this period, the companies advertised NBN services with download speeds up to 100Mbps and upload speeds up to 40Mbps but the ACCC has found that these speed plans ‘could not be delivered’ breaching consumer law.

Affected customers will be contacted by the providers either via email or letter by April 27 with a list of options they can take to receive compensation. The ACCC reported that the majority of those affected were using Fibre To The Node (FTTN) technology. According to the release, 2,436 Dodo customers, 904 iPrimus customers and 283 Commander customers could not achieve the advertised speeds of 100Mbps down and 40Mbps up.

Notably, ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court made a point that you may be able to exit your contract with a refund, rather than jump over to a new service with the same provider that doesn’t meet your needs.

These remedies follow on from previous action taken by the ACCC to stamp out misleading claims about NBN speeds, where ISPs offer customers top tier speeds but the NBN connection they provide cannot facilitate them. At present, Telstra, Optus, TPG and iiNet and Internode customers may be eligible for refunds.

Customers of both Telstra and TPG should have already been contacted by their provider.

Optus customers will begin to receive correspondence from April 6, whereas iiNet and Internode customers should be contacted by April 27.

Those looking for more information should refer to the ACCC website.

The Unluckiest NBN Node In Australia Just Got Run Over Again [Updated]

On March 7, we reported that an NBN Node had been taken out by a car in Kellyville, NSW. In perhaps the perfect summation of everything that has gone wrong with the NBN, that same NBN node has once again been taken out by a car, disrupting services in Kellyville for the second time in two weeks. Less than 24 hours later, it was reportedly then hit for a third time.

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  • Is it the on-net or off-net speed that matters when determining eligibility for a refund? I’m on FTTP, and a speedtest directly to my ISP is always decent, but in peak traffic times, Google’s speed test gives terrible results, and websites are slow to load. But of course, my ISP ignores all evidence for off-net speeds because the on-net connection is fine.

    • Good question – I think that this predominately relates to premises being unable to get to 100/40 even though they are advertised as able to do so. It’s worth checking with your provider or the ACCC. The peak traffic time thing has become an issue too and ISPs now have to provide accurate claims about what download speeds look like at that time.

      • NBNCo ping every subscriber, once a week – usually this runs from Mid-Friday to early Monday AM. Amongst other things, this data scrapes Maximum Attainable Speed, and Actual Attainable Speed. This is the speed from NBN (provider) to Premises (user). The latter is used to determine if you are getting the speed band paid for.

  • We got iiNet FTTN last month and when we initially connected got 78Mbps, as more people connected its dropped down to around 53Mbps.
    Wouldnt mind getting refunded and dropping down to 50Mbps.

  • I feel like if you have to exit a contract because the ISP isn’t providing the service, that in itself should trigger compensation. After all, usually consumers can’t exit the contact early without penalties, and yet the companies are free to sign contracts they can’t actually deliver on and force the consumer to go through the process of finding a new provider. Contacts should be binding, and these one’s have been broken.

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