Feeds

Optus busted for dodgy broadband ads

ACCC fines telco A$5.26m for 'misleading' unlimited claims

Reducing security risks from open source software

Optus has been ordered to pay A$5.26m for misleading advertising in the largest civil penalty dished out by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The penalty applies to Optus' range of "Think Bigger" and "Supersonic" broadband internet plans, which were launched in April 2010 and August 2010 respectively across a range of media.

The advertising campaigns claimed that for a monthly payment, a consumer would receive a headline data allowance of broadband which was then split into peak (midday to midnight) and off-peak (midnight to midday) data allowances.

The ACCC alleged that Optus had not sufficiently disclosed that the service would be limited to 64kbps at all times once a consumer exceeded their peak data allowance. As a consequence any unused off-peak data would no longer be available at a broadband speed.

ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel said, "the court is punishing a company that disregarded the law and misled consumers". He added that the decision and size of the penalty sent a "clear message that misleading consumers is not a legitimate business strategy. Optus is not a small business, but a large company that engaged in misleading and tricky conduct."

Samuel also warned the entire telecommunications industry to make note of the outcome.

Optus has had a bad run with advertising claims recently. In February the Federal Court found that advertisements published by Optus that promoted its broadband plans as "unlimited" were misleading and deceptive. In May this year, the ACCC issued 27 infringement notices on Optus totalling $178,200 – which the company has now paid – for alleged misrepresentations concerning its "Max Cap" advertisements for pre-paid mobile phone services.

In January this year, Optus provided the ACCC with court-enforceable undertakings in relation to alleged misrepresentations to consumers about their statutory rights in relation to faulty mobile phones. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today IS F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.