Optus Sues Telstra in the Federal Court for including “unlimited” term in ads
Rival mobile network Optus had pulled Telstra into Federal Court for overly marketing its new mobile plan as “unlimited”. The network is termed to breach the Australian Consumer Law by misleading its consumer via “Endless Data BYO Plan” with a tagline “One word from Australia’s best mobile network. Unlimited.”
Telstra had launched the BYO Plan in May 2018. Beside its unlimited feature the plan comprised of 40GB of data at the uncapped speed of 1.5 Mbps.
Optus took the “unlimited” term as a misleading statement laid by the network company. It filed suit after it found the term to baseless. While Telstra counter-argued by stating the word was planted to raise inquisitiveness of the users with no definitive.
Under cross-examination made by the Federal Court, Telstra was forced to admit the misconception “unlimited” would create. Justice Gleeson, on her verdict, said, “based on the evidence. I accept that the speed cap in the ‘Endless Data BYO Plan’ is a significant limit on usage of the services provided under the plan because the plan does not permit a user to download and upload unlimited volumes of data at unrestricted speeds. Thus, relevantly, I find that the range of reasonable interpretations of the Telstra unlimited advertisements includes the representation that Telstra offers a mobile product or service that is unlimited in the sense that Telstra imposes no limitations on the speed at which data can be downloaded; the volume of data that can be downloaded at unrestricted speeds; and the user’s ability to download data without interruption or delay.”
“Separately, I also find that a reasonable interpretation of the advertisements includes the representation that Telstra offers a mobile product or service that is unlimited in the sense described above and may be used on any kind of mobile device that can operate through Telstra’s mobile network.”
The final verdict of settlement is yet to come, which will be soon be heard on the next hearing date of Telstra.