ACCC fines NBN provider MyRepublic for ads about internet speeds

National Broadband Network (NBN) provider MyRepublic has paid $25,200 in penalties for alleged false or misleading representations in its advertisements.

The consumer watchdog, the ACCC, said the brand’s fine print disclaimers about the speeds it could provide were ineffective, not prominent and did not provide clear information.

An example of an execution of the MyRepublic campaign which landed it in hot water with the ACCC

Between December last year and April 2018, MyRepublic marketed its NBN services on its website with statements including “up to nbn™100 Speed Tier” and “nbn™50 Speed Tier”.

ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said the watchdog was concerned consumers would be led to believe they could access these speeds all the time.

“We were concerned that MyRepublic’s use of the NBN speed tiers misled consumers to believe they would get broadband speeds of, or close to, 100Mbps and 50Mbps during all or almost all of the time, when that wasn’t the case,” she said.

“NBN speed tiers indicate the maximum performance of a broadband service but a number of factors, including congestion during busy periods, affects the actual speeds consumers will experience.”

The fine print, according to the ACCC, was too small

Court said consumers need accurate information when choosing between broadband services, particularly when it comes to speed and performance during busy periods.

“We’ve been very clear with broadband providers about this and reference to the NBN speed tiers alone is not sufficient,” she said.

The ACCC noted that in August 2017 it issued its Broadband Speed Claims Industry Guidance which is a best practice guide intended to improve the information and support available to broadband consumers and to promote competition among broadband providers.

MyRepublic recently launched a new campaign via Campaign Edge which draws on a man’s fear of commitment to promote its NBN offering.

The TVC focuses on MyRepublic’s “super-fast” no-lock-in-contract NBN offering, but does not offer specifics on speed.


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