Australia - Telco to compensate customers after regulator investigation Telecommunications company Exetel has agreed to amend its standard form agreement and compensate consumers following an ACCC investigation into its residential broadband services. In 2015, Exetel progressively informed up to 2000 people that due to their excessive data usage, they had to terminate their Exetel service or change to a different Exetel plan. In doing so, Exetel relied on a term in its standard form agreement allowing it to vary any part of the agreement for any reason. The ACCC investigated, and found that the relevant provision was an unfair contract term that was likely to breach the Australian Consumer Law. It suggested that such unilateral variation terms were "outdated". Exetel will now compensate customers by refunding any activation charge for those who terminated their service, and any additional monthly subscription costs for the remainder of the fixed term for customers who switched to a different Exetel plan. It will also remove the unfair term from its standard agreement. The ACCC has stated that it will write to other telecommunications providers to remind them of their obligations and to encourage them to review their standard form contracts. It has also reminded providers that as of 12 November 2016, the ACL will also protect small businesses from unfair terms in standard form contracts. For more information, please contact Anne-Marie Allgrove or Anne Petterd.