Vocus has been penalised $2.5 million by the Federal Court over the evening peak speeds quoted for NBN services offered by its Dodo and iPrimus brands.
The telco was hauled before the courts by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) last year over concerns that advertised speeds were largely unachievable.
The speeds were advertised between March 2018 and April 2019, and both Dodo and iPrimus admitted the claims were “misleading.”
Dodo will pay $1.5 million and iPrimus will pay $1 million.
Justice Murphy said that through their parent company Vocus, Dodo and iPrimus “chose not to adopt the methodology proposed as industry best practice by the ACCC and instead developed and applied the Vocus Methodology, which as it eventuated had a number of deficiencies”.
ACCC chair Rod Sims said in a statement that the case highlighted the importance of advertising “accurate information about broadband speeds, particularly during the busy period when consumers are most likely to use their service.”
“The ACCC brought this case because we were concerned that the methodology which the Vocus Group used as the basis for its speed claims cherry-picked only the fastest speeds its network could deliver, and ignored the slower speeds many of its customers experienced,” Sims said.
“These misleading speed claims meant consumers could not accurately compare different offerings and make an informed choice about their broadband provider.”
Vocus is the fourth largest telecommunications operator in Australia, with 5.2 percent overall market share of consumer NBN services, and 436,000 retail broadband customers.