Dodo pays fines for unlimited ads

ACCC continues war on misleading advertising

Budget internet service provider (ISP) Dodo has been fined $26,400 by the competition watchdog for allegedly misleading consumers over advertising for its unlimited broadband plans.

According to a statement released by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the ISP failed to properly notify customers of the bundling costs involved in signing up to an unlimited broadband, stipulated as $39.90 per month in the advertising.

The ACCC issued the infringement notice on 21 December last year and fined the company $6,600 for each of four mediums used during the advertising campaign between August and October 2010.

"Consumers often compare the monthly price of internet and telecommunication services when considering the best deal,” acting ACCC chairman, Michael Schaper, said in the statement.

“To prominently advertise the price of only one component and bury the total bundled price in the fine print is misleading.”

Dodo’s fine comes as the latest bout in the watchdog’s fight against unlimited advertising by several carriers.

Optus has continued legal battles with the ACCC over its unlimited advertising, while also attempting to bring an injunction against similar advertising from rival Vodafone Hutchison Australia.

However, Dodo’s chief executive has remained adamant that ISPs should remove download limits in favour of unlimited offerings.

“As far as I’m concerned if you’re selling a terabyte plan, you might as well call it unlimited because there will be so few people who will actually use much more than a terabyte,” Larry Kestelman told Computerworld Australia in October last year.

“If you’re doing peak and off-peak, if they go over their off-peak quota are you going to throttle their service?

“The sector needs to go to unlimited and be done with it.”

Kestelman said at the time that the ISP’s three terabyte plans were introduced merely as an example of the futility of download limits on broadband users.

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAu

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Tags Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)fineISPdodo

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