Optus punished for misleading 'unlimited' advertisements of broadband and phone services

Two year injunction from advertising unlimited mobile prepaid and home telephone services

Telecommunications provider Optus has been punished by the ACCC for its 'misleading' advertisement of broadband data allowances. A media release from the ACCC states that Optus had failed to adequately disclose important conditions and limitations of its broadband plans, where consumers' Internet access speeds would be restricted once they had downloaded a certain amount of data.

Thinking of signing up for mobile broadband? Have a look at our mobile broadband buying guide.

Check your broadband Internet speed with the PC World broadband speed test.

Optus' plans did not place a concrete limit upon the amount of data that could be downloaded per month, but Internet access speeds were throttled to 256Kbps after reaching a predetermined monthly allowance. ACCC investigators ruled that this speed, despite being defined as broadband by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in June 2010, was 'practically unusable' for most Internet users' needs including streaming YouTube videos and downloading movies.

Although no punishment has been laid down, Justice North of the Federal Court made a declaration that Optus had contravened section 52 of the Trade Practices Act, which is now known as the Competition and Consumer Act.

In June 2010, Optus ran afoul of the ACCC for including the word 'unlimited' in its print, television and radio advertisements of various pre-paid mobile and home telephone bundles. The ACCC has ruled that, due to the terms and conditions of the bundles and deals offered, the plans were unable to be referred to as 'unlimited'.

The punishment handed down recently by the ACCC includes a restriction on Optus' advertising of its mobile phone and home telephone plans. For the next two years, the telco is unable to refer to any of its services as 'unlimited' if any relevant limitations are included in fine print.

The ACCC's chairman Graeme Samuel said that the ruling should serve as a warning to all Australian telecommunication providers. "[They] should think very carefully before claiming that their service offerings are unlimited. If there are any limitations, then they run the risk that the advertisements are misleading and that they will receive unwanted attention from the ACCC."

In 2009 Optus was fined $110,000 by watchdog ACMA, for failing to adhere to Australian Spam Act regulations when it sent unsolicited SMS messages without adequate sender identification.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Campbell Simpson

Campbell Simpson

PC World
Topics: accc, optus
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?