For those who have been following my investigation into whether suppliers can hold you to an existing contract when transitioning to the NBN – i.e. force you to take their NBN service. I had a significant result today.
In a nutshell a potential client had a Telstra BizEssentials package, which was an ADSL internet and fixed line bundle, on a 2 year contract, signed in April 2013, which extended way past the 23 May 2014 cut off date. Telstra had informed him that while they could supply an NBN package encompassing the phone and internet, the phone line could not be used for fax, EFTPOS and alarms systems. To allow these to work an additional ISDN line would have to be installed at extra cost.
This amounts to a significant change to the service supplied under a contract and by law, Telstra must allow the client to escape from the contract. I was expecting to have to argue with Telstra regarding this, but no, a call to their call centre, followed up with an email and a few hours later they came back saying they had removed the contract from the service. That was easy!
So now the client is free to choose whatever supplier they wish to transition them to the NBN (including of course staying with Telstra).
So it appears that Telstra are very aware of their contract obligations and have decided not to stand in the way.