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sysAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Optus Home 5G - No advance notice of 4G/5G tower switched of for upgrade. Now no reliable service.

Hello to all you people considering Optus Home 5G and using Optus. Something to be wary of:

  1. With no warning the Optus 4G / 5G tower nearest to me was switched off two days ago without anyone contacting me to provide advance notice of the outage.
  2. There is no other Optus 4G tower in range that can provide me with a reliable 4G backup signal. I do not have line of sight to the next nearest Optus tower as it is located through several thick concrete walls, numerous apartment buildings and a massive water reservoir.
  3. After two people in my house were unable to use the service for a day, I called Optus Home 5G. They advised me of the network outage and would not tell me the duration of the outage. They only committed to adding me to their sms list to receive updates on the progress of the work .
  4. I received an SMS from Optus promising an update on the fault in 24 hours. I received no update.
  5. I visited the Optus website two days after the outage and learnt the cell tower outage was offline for a planned upgrade and it was to last a further 14 days.
  6. By this point in time I had spent $45 on 4G data for a Telstra tower, so I called Optus Home 5G and after waiting on hold for 40 minutes I tried to explain that I could not be without internet for two weeks, I didn’t want to pay Telstra $200 -$300 for 4G for the next 14 days, and could they please do me a solid favour to provide some other working Optus service.

I suggested to my Optus service representative that they could contact Optus Sales to reactivate the existing and still plugged in NBN NTD in my house for the duration of the outage, refund my monthly Optus Home 5G fee or pay for my  Telstra 4G costs, or disconnect my Optus Home 5G service without penalty because they could not provide their “Optus 50 Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee”.

The Optus representative would not commit to any of these options and said it would take longer than two weeks to connect the NBN. They only promised to note my thoughts on file and send me further updates on the tower upgrade. I don’t understand how that helps me. Anybody know how to coax the Optus call centre people to provide a better solution?

Hello Optus Yes Crowd Moderators,

Since Optus Home 5G support provides me no way to communicate in writing and my next letter will be to the Ombudsmen, here is an open letter in the hope that some lovelly Optus staffer will action the following feedback for the benefit of retaining their customers when undertaking future upgrade works:

  1. While upgrades in technology are to be expected, planning a two-week outage to upgrade a tower without providing advance notice to customers is not professional or kind.
  2. Not providing the 50 Mbps Guarantee or reliable 4G backup service is problematic from a contractual perspective.
  3. The combination of these two failures in service has restricted the ability of two customers to earn income for a day while they stuffed around on hold to Optus multiple times, wasted hours moving a white Nokia modem all around the house trying to find a 4G signal, and then giving up and having to purchase and set up a router with a 4G connection to a Telstra tower.
  4. Australian Consumer law entitles customers to compensation for a reasonably foreseeable loss or damage from a failure in the service.
  5. Any reasonable person would agree that taking a 4G-5G tower offline for planned maintenance during the COVID work from home era without providing advance notification, would risk disrupting the customer’s business activities and causing loss of time and income.
  6. Similarly, since Optus know where their customers live and where all their 4G and 5G cell towers are, Optus can calculate in advance when switching off whatever services they decided to switch off that they risk not providing the promised 4G backup / 50 Mbps service to their customer.
  7. A reasonable and kind business would give their customers a call - weeks in advance - to say something like, “Hey customer, we’ve got a tricky situation to solve with a tower upgrade near your house in two weeks’ time. We just wanted to let you know the internet might be off for two weeks without a reliable 4G backup or 50 Mbps speeds - probably something closer to 1 Mbps most of the time - and wanted to give you the opportunity to connect to our NBN service for free during the upgrade or the chance to make other plans so your internet use and/or work from home is not disrupted”.
  8. Therefore, Optus’s lack of kind consideration is the sole reason for my predicament of the last two days and my continued frustration at spending more than I need to for internet.
  9. I like Optus Home 5G when it works and I would like to maintain a service with you but I do not like:
    1. disappointing my clients at work like I did this week when you switched off my internet without warning.
    2. losing money from the thoughtless actions of others.
    3. wasting time writing to OPtus after getting nowhere with them after waiting for a long time on hold on the phone
    4. working on weekends in the city office away from my young children to catch up on work
    5. seeing the frustration and exhaution of my wife who has health issues and needs to work from home after COVID killed her office and is stuck using 30GB a day on Telstra 4G at prepaid rates because Optus doesn't have its act together.
  10. I’m sure you would feel the same if your internet service provider did the same to you.
  11. What will you do for me now and to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
5 Replies
Tina_YC
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Optus Home 5G - No advance notice of 4G/5G tower switched of for upgrade. Now no reliable servi

Hi @sysAdmin, thanks for getting in touch with us and bringing this to our attention. We're really sorry to hear about your frustrating experience. This is certainly not the level of service we strive to achieve and I have tagged your comment as feedback for review by the relevant teams to better improve our customer service.

Generally speaking, We'll keep you updated via My Optus app, SMS and email about upcoming upgrades and maintenance work, as well as when they are finished. If you would like us to check if we have your correct contact details, we recommend messaging us via the My Optus app. Our Messaging team is available 24/7 and are ready to assist customers as quickly as possible.

The Messenger team could also raise a complaint on your behalf and escalate it to a Senior Resolution Expert. Tina.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community.

Did we answer your question? Please mark it as a Accepted Solution and if you see something that was helpful to you or the rest of the community, giving a Kudos is only a click away.

sysAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Re: Optus Home 5G - No advance notice of 4G/5G tower switched of for upgrade. Now no reliable servi

Thank you Tina,
I have checked my email address registered with Optus and there are no emails advising of the outage. Optus Home 5G service subscribed my mobile number to an SMS alerting system on 17 Feb after I complained of the outage and again this evening.
They uses the mobile number on file. So I now have two SMS in my inbox about fault 113564 promising 24 hour updates. So far no update received via SMS or email. I did try contacting the messaging team and they said they could not assist with Optus Home 5G service issues and the sympathetic fellow suggested he connect me to the NBN sales team to purchase an NBN connection or for me call Optus Home 5G on the number which lead to my previous post.
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Sarah_YC
Moderator
Moderator

Re: Optus Home 5G - No advance notice of 4G/5G tower switched of for upgrade. Now no reliable servi

Thanks for sharing further details around what has happened, @sysAdmin.

We do apologise for the run around you've experienced when looking for assistance about your 5G Home Broadband issues.

If you have a social media account, please then send a Private Message to Optus on Facebook or a Direct Message on Twitter with the details for further assistance along with this Yes Crowd post. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community.

Did we answer your question? Please mark it as a Accepted Solution and if you see something that was helpful to you or the rest of the community, giving a Kudos is only a click away.

sysAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Re: Optus Home 5G - No advance notice of 4G/5G tower switched of for upgrade. Now no reliable servi

I do not have a social media account. I will contact the messaging team like you suggested earlier. Cheers.
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sysAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Re: Optus Home 5G - No advance notice of 4G/5G tower switched of for upgrade. Now no reliable servi

After some time mucking around on the phone and being unhappy with the Optus Home 5G team's best offer being 'we are sorry' and we can 'pro-rata your bill by ~$2.50 a day for lost service', I decided it was time to:

1. Purchase a $150 prepaid data SIM card for Telstra network and a $1000 enterprise grade router to seamlessly load balance my household's internet traffic between the Telstra tower and distant / sometimes overloaded Optus 4G backup tower(s).

2. Write to the NSW TIO.

Within a couple of days of these actions three things happened at about the same time:

1. I started receiving SMS updates on the progress of work in the area to restore 5G service and the project date of the next date at which an updated would be provided. This is helpful for budgeting internet usage and costs during the outage.

2. I received a nice call from Optus apologising for the lack of advance notice in regard to the outage and advising my bill would be credited for the Telstra SIM card and the Optus monthly service fee.

3. The backup 4G service suddenly became more reliable and at least for the last 24 hours increased in speed from ~1 Mbps to peak 30-100 Mbps. Possibly related to the ongoing Optus tower maintenance, my complaints about the lousy 4G backup and/or the demolition and deforestation works on an adjacent lot...who knows.

I'm guessing this has been a bit of learning experience for myself and Optus and hopefully you all have a more seamless transition experience if/when your local network gets upgraded.

While it is possible to periodically visit the Optus website and find out what is planned in terms of maintenance to the network, it would be nice if Optus could invent some smarts for people on Home 5G, e.g. shortly after signup and email offering automatic subscription by email and/or SMS for notification of planned maintenance for the towers that your modem connects on.

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