Slow NBN speeds: Telstra to refund $25 million to 50,000 customers

Technicians working on internet cable in a city

Telstra has failed to notify almost 50,000 customers that the maximum speeds advertised in their internet plan were not attainable with the NBN infrastructure available to them, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found. Telstra will pay $25 million in refunds in connection to the issues, with Telstra reporting regularly to the ACMA on the refunding process.

“The ACMA is very concerned with this conduct as these customers have been paying for a level of service they were not receiving,” ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said. “Telstra denied these customers the opportunity to downgrade their plan or exit their contract.”

Ms O’Loughlin said a two-year investigation found Telstra failed to suitably notify 49,092 affected customers of their under-performing internet speeds and plan options. Telstra found further impacted customers, bringing the total number of those affected above 50,000.

The ACMA has issued Telstra with a Remedial Direction under which it must commission an independent audit of the systems it has in place to notify customers of their maximum attainable speeds. Failure to comply with this Remedial Direction would see Telstra face a further $10 million in penalties.

Under the Remedial Direction, Telstra must also implement a range of systems, processes and reporting to assure the future compliance with the ACMA rules.

Telstra also breached rules that don’t allow a telco to charge for an NBN service until 10 working days have passed since customers were advised of their options and they have not taken up an available remedy.

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Last updated 21 July 2024