Optus joins Telstra in refunding unhappy NBN customers

09 November 2017

Optus to refund selected NBN users

Yesterday, we reported that Telstra had reached an agreement with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to offer refunds to some 42,000 customers unhappy with their NBN plans.

Now, number-two telco Optus has also agreed to compensate unimpressed NBN users. The company has confirmed that it will work with the ACCC to provide solutions for NBN subscribers who've been unable to reach the speeds promised on their Optus NBN plan.

Like Telstra, Optus will likely offer refunds to FTTN and FTTB customers who have paid for an NBN speed boost, but are unable to access advertised download speeds. Optus has attributed the problem to an 'underlying copper access issue', but so far hasn't revealed how many customers have been affected, or its exact plans to compensate users.

The ACCC has been investigating reported NBN speed issues since earlier this year, with concerns that the gap between promised speeds and what customers have experienced could qualify as a breach of Australian Consumer Law.

No more misleading speed claims

Rather than telcos limiting their NBN advertising to maximum download and upload speeds for each pricing tier, the ACCC recommends a switch to promoting typical minimum speeds achievable in peak and off-peak hours. 

Peak periods include between 7pm and 11pm each evening, with off-peak times being all other hours. For example, Telstra now advertises its tiers as Basic Evening Speed, Standard Evening Speed, Standing Evening Plus Speed and Premium Evening Speed, with typical Standard speeds listed as 15Mbps for downloads in peak hours, and 22Mbps off-peak. 

Optus hasn't committed to making the voluntary ACCC-outlined advertising changes, but a spokesman has confirmed the company will be working with the ACCC to address the aforementioned speed issues. 

Competing provider Vocus - owner of Dodo and iPrimus - has also informed ABC News that it is reviewing speed complaints from NBN users, and may also offer refunds to affected customers. 

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