Telstra again attracted the attention of Australia’s telecoms regulator for misleading customers about the capabilities of a residential broadband service, with the operator facing a court order to compensate subscribers for halving the upload speed of a budget internet service.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is seeking a court order requiring Telstra to pay subscribers of its low-cost Belong mobile and internet services who did not receive the service they purchased.

In a statement, the ACCC explained in 2020 Telstra moved nearly 9,000 customers on a Belong national broadband network (NBN) plan with a maximum download rate of 100Mb/s and upload of 40Mb/s to a new service with an ultimate uplink of 20Mb/s.

The ACCC alleges Telstra failed to notify customers of the reduction in the upload speed and did not lower their charges.

While Telstra acknowledged the issue and compensated about 2,500 customers with a one-off AUD90 ($60.63) credit, the ACCC believes more than 6,300 Belong customers were never informed their upload speed was cut.

ACCC commissioner Liza Carver stated. “We expect a company of Telstra’s size and experience to take their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law very seriously, including those prohibiting misleading or deceptive conduct and false or misleading representations.”

A month ago, Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom were fined for misleading internet customers about the actual speeds they could deliver using the NBN. A legal case filed by the ACCC resulted in Telstra being fined AUD15 million.