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Telstra to refund 42,000 customers after over-selling its NBN speeds

Telstra will be providing a refund for more than 42,000 customers who were sold NBN internet plans which promised speeds that their NBN connection was simply not capable of delivering.

The ACCC has accepted Telstra’s decision to improve information provided to customers after it was revealed the telco was found to have misled customers on the actual capabilities of their connection.

Telstra pointed out not all customers can receive the maximum speeds on the NBN especially at the higher 100Mbps tier sold by NBN Co to retailers like Telstra because the technology used in the NBN rollout might not be able to sustain it.

The refunds will only apply to less than five per cent of Telstra’s NBN customers which still adds up to more than 42,000 households and businesses.

“Providing a great customer experience is our number one priority and that includes giving customers as much choice as possible as they connect to an NBN service,” Vicky Brady, Telstra group executive, consumer and small business, said.

 “As it is not possible to accurately determine what speed the NBN can deliver to a customer prior to connection, we have been reviewing the speeds of customers who take up a speed boost on their FTTN or FTTB NBN services after connection.

“We have been undertaking this review since May 2017 and, where we identify they cannot attain the benefit of the speed boost, we have been contacting them to provide refunds.

“We also give these customers the option to move to a different speed tier, or to cancel their contract altogether.”

In the last 18 months, Telstra has been using robotic testers on its network to ensure it is buying the right amount of connectivity virtual circuit (CVC) from the NBN and determine the appropriate speeds it can provide for customers.

“The majority of our customers have a service that can deliver the speeds of the plan they’ve chosen, but there’s a small group whose NBN connection isn’t capable of delivering the top speeds and that is who we’ll be in touch with,” Ms Brady said.

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“We have changed our advertising, marketing and sales processes. We now use the standard ACCC naming convention to describe our speed plans and quote the typical speeds a customer can expect, including for the period when most people tend to use the internet.

“The ACCC is conducting an industry-wide investigation and we’re pleased to be the first to reach a resolution with the ACCC.

“Our focus is now on contacting affected customers, making sure they understand their options and then getting on with the job of creating an unrivalled customer experience on the NBN.”

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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