The ACCC just issued two fines, totalling $25,200, to NBN provider MyRepublic for “alleged false or misleading representations about its NBN service performance”.
Between December 2017 and April 2018, MyRepublic marketed its NBN services using statements like “up to nbnTM100 Speed Tier” and “nbn™50 Speed Tier” on its website.
The MyRepublic website did have fine print disclaimers, but the ACCC believes they were ineffective “as they were not prominent and did not provide clear information”.
“We were concerned that MyRepublic’s use of the NBN speed tiers misled consumers to believe they would get broadband speeds of, or close to, 100Mbps and 50Mbps during all or almost all of the time, when that wasn’t the case,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.
“NBN speed tiers indicate maximum performance of a broadband service but a number of factors, including congestion during busy periods, affects the actual speeds consumers will experience,” Court said.
Court days when choosing between broadband services, consumers need accurate information about the performance they should expect, particularly during busy periods.
“We’ve been very clear with broadband providers about this and reference to the NBN speed tiers alone is not sufficient.”
The ACCC points out that payment of a penalty specified in an infringement notice is not an admission of a contravention of the Australian Consumer Law.
In August 2017 the ACCC issued its Broadband Speed Claims Industry Guidance which is a best practice guide intended to improve the information and support available to broadband consumers and to promote competition among broadband providers.
Update: MyRepublic reached out to Gizmodo and offered the following statement.
MyRepublic has always provided customers with the fastest broadband access speeds available. With multiple NBN access technologies that operate at varying speeds, we acknowledge that speeds may vary further during peak usage times.
MyRepublic will continue to make improvements to how we communicate this to customers.
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