iiNet and Internode to compensate customers over NBN speeds

Two more internet providers have been ordered by Australia’s consumer watchdog to compensate customers over misleading NBN speed claims.

iiNet and Internode, both owned by the same company, will compensate more than 11,000 customers after an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). This number consists of roughly 8,000 iiNet customers and 3,000 Internode customers.

Affected customers will be able to move to a lower speed plan with a refund, or exit their plan without cost and with a refund.

iiNet advertised its top-tier NBN plan as “Up to 100Mbps. This is our fastest option and is sure to impress”. Meanwhile Internode advertised its top-tier plan as “NBN Platinum: Up to 100/40Mbps”.

ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said the claims were misleading as customers were unlikely to be able to reach the maximum speeds advertised.

“iiNet and Internode have admitted that between 2015 and mid-2017, they both likely engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct or made false or misleading representations by promoting and offering NBN plans with maximum speeds that could not be delivered,” Ms Court said.

The two telco join Optus, Telstra and TPG – the parent company of iiNet and Internode – in being ordered to refund customers over NBN speed claims.

iiNet and Internode will contact affected customers by email by 27 April 2018, tell them the maximum speed connection they can receive and explain their compensation options.

The claims affected those on FTTN (fibre to the node) and FTTB (fibre to the building) NBN connections. Two-thirds (64%) of iiNet customers on the top-tier plan could not receive the speeds they purchased, while 34% of Internode customers were also left disappointed, the ACCC said.

Ms Court said: “Fixing misleading claims about internet speeds during the transition to the NBN is an enforcement priority for the ACCC and we strongly urge other providers to act quickly to ensure their advertising is accurate.”

How satisfied are iiNet and Internode customers?

Despite misleading claims over their top-tier NBN plans, Canstar Blue research has found that both iiNet and Internode generally have some of the most satisfied internet customers in Australia.

iiNet took top spot for overall customer satisfaction in Canstar Blue’s 2017 NBN provider ratings, leading the way from Dodo (4 stars), Optus (4 stars), TPG (4 stars) and Telstra (3 stars). Meanwhile Internode produced the most satisfied customers in the ADSL/Cable internet category, ahead of eight other major telcos.

Canstar Blue research indicates that 79 per cent of consumers find their NBN speeds adequate, while customers spend on average $78 per month on their NBN plan. Just 46 per cent of households have an unlimited data plan.

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