Telstra may need to refund up to 180,000 broadband customers after failing to check the maximum speeds dictated by their plans.
Telstra chairman John Mullen has defended a 34 per cent increase to CEO Andrew Penn's pay today at the telco's Annual General Meeting. While defending the $5 million pay packet isn't entirely surprising, what stood out was Mullen's justification of the figure by comparing it to kids who earn money playing Fortnite. Okay, sure.
This development comes two years after the telco had to compensate 42,000 NBN customers for not providing them with the speeds promised.
“Telstra has undertaken that, where it advertises or otherwise represents to potential customers that they will receive a particular speed, it will, within four weeks of connecting a new service, check each customer’s attainable speed. If it is below the advertised speed, Telstra will notify the customer and offer remedies,” said ACCC Chair Rod Sims at the time.
As it turns out, Telstra didn't follow through with this court-enforceable commitment.
Telstra advised the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) this week that it failed to check the speeds of both Telstra and Belong customers who had upgraded to higher tiered plans.
As a result, customers were unaware whether they were getting the speeds they were supposed to on their upgraded NBN plans.
Subsequently, they were not given the informed ability to change to another plan, leave the telco or obtain a refund.
Telstra has once again "committed" to checking whether any of these customers weren't receiving the correct maximum speeds. While hopefully 180,000 customers weren't impacted, the telco will refund anyone who has been. It will also move customers to a lower tier NBN plan if they weren't reaping the alleged benefits of a higher speed plan.
"Everyone who receives an email or letter from Telstra about their NBN service should take note of the maximum speed they are getting and check that they are not paying for something they are not receiving," ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a press release.
The chair also offered some general advice in regards to choosing an NBN provider.
"Your maximum speed stays the same no matter which provider you’re with, so once you know your maximum speed, make sure you are getting the best deal available for you."
The ACCC is also turning its eyes to other telcos to make sure that customers are getting the speeds promised, as well as options to opt out or get a refund if they aren't.