Optus fined for misleading customers over NBN

Optus fined for misleading customers over NBN

Optus has been slapped with a $1.5 million fine by the Federal Court for making misleading statements to its customers regarding their transition to the NBN.

The telco was ordered to pay up after it told 14,000 customers, between the dates of October 15 and March 17, that their services would be disconnected if they didn't move to the NBN.

The court found that Optus couldn't legally force disconnection within the timeframe that it claimed, under the terms of its own contract.

Optus also made misleading representations that customers were required to sign up to Optus' NBN services, when they were legally allowed to choose any internet service provider.

Chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) Rod Sims said Optus reaped around $750,000 from putting this undue pressure on its customers.

"Optus pressured customers by misrepresenting the time period in which services could be disconnected," said Sims.

"Businesses should not make false representations which distort customers' decision making. This is particularly important when many Australians are moving to the NBN for the first time."

"It is illegal for businesses to mislead their customers and create a false impression through their communications. Today's penalty serves as a warning to all businesses that such behaviour will be met with ACCC action."

The ACCC commenced proceedings against Optus in December 2017. Optus is Australia's third largest NBN provider.

To date, Optus has paid $833,000 in compensation to aggrieved customers.

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