Home Mobility Court rules Telstra's 'unlimited' ads are misleading

Court rules Telstra's 'unlimited' ads are misleading

Court rules Telstra's 'unlimited' ads are misleading Featured

The Federal Court has found that Telstra's use of the word "unlimited" in some ads for its mobile service is misleading, in a complaint brought by rival telco Optus.

Justice Jacqueline Gleeson said that the ads, published on Telstra's website, social media and billboards, gave the impression that it was offering a mobile service that was unlimited, Fairfax Media reported.

The judge said on Monday that a speed cap of 1.5Mbps, on Telstra's Endless Data BYO Plan, meant that it "does not offer a mobile product or service that is unlimited".

Justice Gleeson added that the speed restriction “is a significant limit on usage of the services provided under the plan because the plan does not permit a user to download and upload unlimited volumes of data at unrestricted speeds”.

Due to this, some of the ads put out by Telstra were considered to "falsely convey representations to the effect of the unlimited service representations” and thereby contravene Australian consumer law.

Telstra will have to pay Optus' costs up to 23 May, with a hearing on 1 July to determine the extent of damages.

During a hearing on Wednesday, Telstra denied that the word "unlimited", when taken in the context of the ads, would convey anything apart from making a viewer curious about what it meant.

Optus had challenged the use of the phrase "One world from Australia's best mobile network. Unlimited." which had been used in numerous ads.

The two telcos have another court battle pending as Telstra has a case going against Optus, challenging the latter's claims to being the best mobile network in the country.

Last week, Optus was told to hold off on ads pushing this claim. The Victorian Supreme Court is due to decide the matter in a trial.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

 

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