NBN honeymoon rates designed to make plan comparison more difficult

It appears that many NBN resellers are now trying to confuse consumers by adding “Special price for the first 6 months” honeymoon rates designed to make internet plan comparison far more difficult.

This reminds me of the days of when mobile phone plans used to be deliberately complex to make comparison much more difficult.

Quite shonky if you ask me.


I fully agree.

Most contracts require to be signed up for far more than the special offer period (many minimum 12 months which high contract breakage fees), and as a result, I look at the standard non-special offer prices. These are the ones likely to hit the hip pocket more. If they coincide with a special offer which saves a little at the start, then this is a bonus.

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Of the nine examples given none had a fixed contract so that does not seem to be part of the problem for Boris.

To me the small saving you get for a fixed term isn’t worth the freedom to quit if their service is not good enough. Being stuck in a contract and then having to argue to get out or pay a ‘fine’ to quit is not an experience I want. Once I find one that gives consistently good service I keep them even if it costs a few dollars a month more.


ABB are by the month anyway for us, every month allows us the freedom to change if we want.


The mobile carriers now all appear to include a total cost over the minimum contract period, which offers some clarity for their offers. I’ve seen similar for Broadband offers. Is part of the problem not the NBN RSP’s but how the comparison sites present the products?

Noted the example posted is from a comparison site, which could if it had chosen provided the minimum total cost over any contract period and length of the contract. What @Boris is also highlighting is the unreliability of some comparison sites, leaving consumers to do the leg work. And lazy not to include an option for the site to provide a cost comparison for a user specified term, EG 12, 24, 36 mths?

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I didn’t enlarge the image to see the small print.

Even with honeymoon specials, many consumers tend not to change NBN retailers regularly. Switching regularly can be costly as most plans require payment in advance and 30 days notification of cancellation. Unless one knows what they are doing and can time the churn perfectly, it is likely that one will lose part of the upfront month paid. Notwithstanding this, churning can also result in loss of connectivity through the churn process for a short time to a number of days.

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It depends on the technology type. With HFC and FTTP the downtime is usually only 10 to 15 minutes and with FTTP you can have up to four RSP simultaneously.

NBN has a special pricing for six months to encourage the uptake of higher speed plans.

Many people who read ozbargain churn every six months to take advantage of the special deals.


I was about to make that comment. Too much hassle to switch around every 6/12.

For myself, I just cannot be bothered. I’m with Exetel, not cheapest, not most expensive. Just switched from FTTN to FTTP at no cost to me unless I bail out before the 12 months is up, though I’ve heard Exetel might absorb that cost if you want to downgrade speeds. I also seem to have got 6 months at the same rate I was paying for my 50/20 which suits me. I’ll likely downgrade to 50/20 at the end of the 6/12.

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If it’s too much hassle ask or threaten to walk away every six months. Usually the isp will discount but not as much as switching providers.

As mentioned above down time is less then 15 minutes usually and it can be done all online.

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Thats not how I do stuff. I’m happy with the service I get, and I’m happy with the price I’m paying.


Loyalty tax. That’s fine you subsidize the cheap rates we get then. Very few companies reward loyalty now.

It’s the same reason all the big four banks make so much money on home loans.

Further discussion here It always pays to be a loyal customer

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Raises a few questions…
How do comparison sites makes their money?
Do RSPs pay a fee to be included in the comparison?
Are comparison sites subject to the same disclosure rules as RSPs advertising in their own right?

Maybe Choice could perform a review of comparison sites…

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There are different business models. Some have subscription type services for business that they compare services (pay the comparison website to have their products compared), some take fees for clicking on links and new customer purchases and others have sponsored placements (advertising).

Comparison websites should disclose their commercial interests to users. It can often be hard to find, but the information is usually there.

These are some examples of disclosures:


(see last paragraph on this very long page)

Some comparison websites have been in hot water over their advertised claims. Such as this for health insurance…


If you have FTTP you can have any speed your modem will support, provided the mux on the NBN trunk allows it. Raw fibre can carry >100Gbs, depending on terminating equipment performance and distance.

With RSPs, where the rubber hits the road is when there’s a problem. A few extra dollars a year is neither here nor there compared to wasting hours on the phone when you have other things to do, but there’s a problem with NBN. Mind you, with FTTP, the types of problems you’re likely to have is a very short list, with quite rare failure instances. FTTN is in a different category. Problem frequency is roughly proportional to distance from the node.

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They have published some guidance but the plethora of ‘comparisons’ may evade a single issue. Some comparison sites are a much of a muchness owned by the companies they compare, such as the ‘competing policies’ by the insurance underwriter that might own the compare site.

A few examples of Choice commentary

and this from the UK



Whilst not strictly a price comparison site it does allow comparison of prices of restaurants-