ACCC takes Dodo and iPrimus to court over NBN speed claims

Alleged misleading broadband speed claims from Dodo and iPrimus land the providers in hot water with the ACCC.
Judge's gavel

Dodo and iPrimus are NBN providers with a reputation for competitively priced plans, which tend to be at the bottom of the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) quarterly updated broadband performance data.

What’s the story?

At the time of writing, the united Dodo and iPrimus percentage comparison was up by 2.5% compared to the last quarter, but was still the lowest compared to eight popular providers at 82.5%. This data measures the average NBN plan speeds that are delivered during the daily evening busy period (typically between 7:00 PM and 11:00 PM).

The ACCC has issued a media release stating it has started Federal Court proceedings against Dodo and iPrimus. The ACCC is alleging that both Vocus Group-owned NBN providers have made false or misleading claims in regard to the NBN broadband speeds their customers are able to achieve during the evening busy period.

According to ACCC Chair Rod Sims, it is the ACCC’s belief that many customers of the providers would be unable to regularly achieve advertised busy evening download speeds. Sims goes on to outline the ACCC’s underlying argument against Dodo and iPrimus.

 

“The ACCC will argue that Dodo and iPrimus used a fundamentally flawed testing methodology, developed by Vocus, which was not a reasonable basis for their advertising claims about certain typical evening speeds.

It is alleged that the testing methodology determined the ‘typical evening speed’ claims by using only the daily 75 fastest speeds observed across Vocus’ entire network in the busy period, excluding slower speeds where a connection was more likely to be impacted by congestion.”

 

The ACCC is taking the NBN providers to court in the pursuit of declarations, penalties, and costs.

Why’s this story important?

The ACCC consider typical evening speeds to be a meaningful consideration for how NBN users evaluate service providers. According to the ACCC’s media release, the regulator’s Measuring Broadband Australia (MBA) Program has observed consistently low-end performance in comparison between the nine NBN providers that are part of the program.

Providers are required by Australian Consumer Law to not make false or misleading representations of the performance characteristics of their services. Dodo and iPrimus have caught the ACCC’s attention because, according to the media release, their test samples over the test period have not met ACCC guidelines.

What does this mean for Dodo and iPrimus customers?

It’s worth checking to see if your typical evening speeds are in line with what’s been advertised by your provider, especially if you’re with Dodo or iPrimus. If they’re slower than advertised, follow these guides for speeding up internet and improving WiFi speeds. If they don’t help, speak to your provider about potential additional steps.

After this, if you’re still unhappy with your provider’s typical evening speeds, check in with our monthly updated best NBN internet plans and consider switching to a new provider (it’s easier than you might think).