Telstra and Optus end legal battle over ‘endless data’ campaign

Australia’s biggest telcos have ended their latest legal battle with a court order restraining Telstra from adverting unlimited plans for three years.

The Federal court judgement brings to an end a dispute over Telstra’s ‘endless data’ plans, which were billed as the “first smartphone plan with unlimited data.”

Shortly after Telstra released the plan in May this year, Optus launched action in the Federal court alleging the campaign breached Australian consumer laws in describing the deal as ‘unlimited’.

The plans did allow ‘unlimited’ data downloads, but beyond a certain point streams were slowed, although Telstra claimed it would still be fast enough allow customers to stream video in standard definition, listen to music, browse the web and access social media.

In May, the court ruled Telstra had made a false representation under the Australian Consumer Law.

This week, Justice Gleeson of the Federal Court banned Telstra from marketing the ‘unlimited’ plans for three years.

The court victory is the latest in a round of legal battles between the two telcos, with Telstra losing another fight last May over Optus’ End of Empires campaign.

An Optus spokesperson told Mumbrella: “Optus took the action against Telstra because it felt the advertisement was likely to mislead consumers.

“Our action has been comprehensively vindicated by the judgement and the offending advertisements have been removed from the market. Optus welcomes the closure of this successful action.”

In reply, a Telstra spokesperson told Mumbrella: “We respect the court ruling concerning a small component of the advertising materials used to launch our BYO Endless Data, published in May.

“We changed the wording of our advertising to use the phrase ‘Peace of Mind Data’ across all our subsequent marketing campaigns.

“Peace of Mind Data on selected plans allows customers to use their smartphones and mobile devices without worrying about excess data charges.”


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