Wednesday, 10 July 2019 10:49

Dodo to fork out $360,000 over NBN streaming claims

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Dodo to fork out $360,000 over NBN streaming claims Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

Vocus Group subsidiary Dodo Services has agreed to pay back up to $360,000 to 16,000 customers for claiming that its entry-level NBN broadband plans were "perfect for streaming".

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said the refunds were part of a court-enforeable undertaking which Dodo gave the competition watchdog after admitting its conduct could be interpreted as false or misleading and in contravention of Australian Consumer Law.

In a statement, the ACCC said from November 2015 to March 2018, Dodo had made these claims for plans including those which had speeds of 12Mbps and which came with 10GB of data.

“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.

He 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.

“We don’t believe NBN plans with just 10GB of included data are ‘perfect for streaming’.”

Apart from the refunds, the ACCC said customers on these plans who had paid excess for data and were still with Dodo would be allowed to cancel their contracts without any financial penalty.

In a statement, Dodo said over the approximately 2.5 years that the statement was in use in some Dodo advertisements, excess usage charges resulted in a small number (less than 3%) of customers exceeding their plan, at an average of approximately $23 per customer.

The company said it would offer credits and refunds of the excess usage charges, and where applicable, waive any exit fees to current customers.

Antony de Jong, chief executive – Business & Consumer, said: "Doing the right thing by our customers is our focus and we apologise for our error. We want the Dodo brand to stand for simplicity and fairness and endeavour to reflect these values in all customer interactions.

"Our team will contact impacted current and former customers as soon as possible. Further, we ceased new sales of that specific NBN plan and promotion some time ago, turning our focus to offers that deliver a better experience."

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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