Dodo caught out for failing to send usage alerts

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Dodo caught out for failing to send usage alerts

Telco compensates customers.

Low-cost internet service provider Dodo has earned a rebuke from the Australian Communications and Media Authority for failing to send mandatory data usage alerts to more than 5000 of its broadband customers in late 2013.

In September last year the Australian Government introduced new rules requiring telcos to alert customers when they have used 50, 85 and 100 percent of their data or voice allowances in a billing period.

Following the introduction of the new regulations, ACMA audited seven large and medium telecommunications provider for compliance, with only Dodo caught out for failing to fully meet the new demands.

The ACMA found Dodo customers had been overcharged for services as a result of the ISP failing to provide usage alerts as per requirements under the TCP Code.

The issue - which affected Dodo's fixed broadband (DSL) customers on plans with included data allowances - had resulted from an incorrect calibration of usage thresholds set by Dodo for those users, it found.

“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," ACMA chairman Chris Chapman said in a statement.

“Dodo also compensated affected customers and had capped the excess usage charges."

Affected customers were on average charged an excess of between $15 and $39 dollars as a result of the calibration issue.

An initial 3370 fixed broadband customers were affected in the October fault.

A further group of almost 2000 existing fixed broadband customers also incurred excess usage charges as a result of not receiving usage alerts in November from a separate "IT issue", the ACMA reported.

Dodo advised the ACMA in February this year both system issues had been resolved.

ACMA launched an inquiry into the gripes of Australian telecommunications customers in 2011, which identified a number of ways telcos could improve their service management, including the new alerts.

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code was amended in response to ACMA’s recommendations, and the agency said it has seen a subsequent decrease in complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman of just over 20 percent between 2011-12 and 2012-13.

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