Australia’s competition regulator has hit Dodo in the pocket, forcing the internet provider to refund $360,000 for making false claims on its internet speeds.
The punishment concerns a Dodo campaign from November 2015 to March 2018, during which the internet service provider claimed its entry-level NBN broadband plans were “perfect for streaming”.
The plan Dodo was advertising offered maximum speeds of 12 megabits per second, a speed which does not allow customers to stream in ultra HD video at all.
It was also found some of the plans on offer had a monthly data allowance of 10 gigabytes, which would only afford a “modest” amount of streaming.
“We were concerned that Dodo customers on these plans could not reliably stream high quality video, particularly when others in the household were using the internet at the same time. At 12Mbps, Dodo’s customers could not stream ultra HD video at all,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said.
“According to Netflix, high definition streaming uses up to 3GB of data per hour. With these plans a customer would have to pay extra if they streamed just two or three movies.”
Dodo has issued an apology over the matter.
“Dodo will offer credits and refunds of the excess usage charges, and where applicable, waive any exit fees to current customers.”
“Doing the right thing by our customers is our focus and we apologise for our error,” said the company in a statement.
Current Dodo customers on affected plans who incurred excess data charges will also be offered the option to exit their contract at no cost.
It is not the first time the ACCC has gone after an internet provider over dodgy advertising claims, particularly concerning the NBN.
Last year Telstra was made to repay customers $9.3 million for making misleading claims.
It also took Activ8me to court last year over allegedly making false or misleading representations when advertising its internet services.
Optus also had to refund $10 million last year in a similar incident.
Sims told the AFR that telcos are trying to “establish a position with a new service” and as a result are “pushing too hard in their advertising”.
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