Feeds

Optus busted for dodgy broadband ads

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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Record labels sue Pandora over vintage song royalties
Companies want payout on recordings made before 1972
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Number crunching suggests Yahoo! US is worth less than nothing
China and Japan holdings worth more than entire company
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.