Internet service provider Dodo failed to let customers of its fixed broadband services know that they were approaching their monthly quota limits for data, an Australian Communications and Media Authority investigation has found. As a result, thousands of customers incurred excess usage charges without first receiving a warning.
Under section 6.5.2 of the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code – the TCP Code – ISPs are required to provide any residential customer with a broadband plan that has an included data allowance with "an electronic notification to that Post-Paid Service no later than 48 hours after" the customer hits 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their quota.
The ACMA has issued a formal warning to the ISP, which co-operated with the investigation, the watchdog body said in a statement.
"Once its failure to send the alerts was identified in its response to the ACMA's enquiries, Dodo worked swiftly to fix the information technology faults that had prevented the alerts from being sent. Dodo also compensated affected customers and had capped the excess usage charges," ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement.
Dodo identified 3370 customers affected by the issue in October last year and 1991 affected in November.
The initial problem was "caused by an incorrect calibration of usage thresholds set for Dodo’s fixed broadband (DSL) customers," ACMA's summary of the investigation states. That problem was identified and fixed by the ISP in early November but "another IT issue caused the failure of usage notifications" to 1991 customers.
The issue with Dodo's alerts was identified during an ACMA audit of seven ISPs' compliance with the TCP Code-mandated usage alerts.