For over 3 months I have been trying to resolve an issue around direct debits for my accounts, both mobile and home broadband. Back in mid-May I called and arranged to have the credit card changed for both direct debits and was assured it had been done correctly. But every few weeks I am receiving emails and text messages telling me I owe money and my service is about to be disconnected. I call, email and chat in real time, I am assured the issue has been fixed, only to have it occur again. I've been charged late fees and overcharged my monthly fees. I've been in contact with a Case Manager twice who has replied by email and assured me that everything has been fixed, but again today, another threat of disconnection! Today I spoke to yet another person, again in the Phillipines I believe, who told me that everything had been fixed and that I 'should be grateful' to Optus. The amounts of money are small, $15 - $65 overcharged each time but still I don't see why I should put up with this if I don't actually owe this money. And because the problem keeps changing: overcharged a late fee, threat of disconnection, charged in advance, charged on the wrong card, there is not a single issue that can be fixed. The issue is primarily appalling customer service. I've copied in the TIO on the exchanges via email and I understand I can proceed with an investigation, but I'm not sure what they will be able to do for me. Is there any way I can get someone in Australia who is not simply reading from a script or preaching to me about 'gratefulness' to properly address this issue? I have been a customer for over 3 years and never late in payment until Optus started making these mistakes and claiming, erroneously, that my payments were late. I am wondering whether I need to get a law firm involved?
Sounds very frustrating. Are the direct debit payments actually happening as scheduled? Is the issue with the DD setup or just Optus not recognising the payment properly?
Well today's story was that the direct debit was present for the mobile account but the home broadband had been changed to 'cash payment' by Optus. But I find this strange because it was deducted the previous month from the credit card. I wonder what the staff at Optus are doing, or if they in fact know what they are doing. It has me wondering whether someone might even be skimming from the accounts at Optus. There is a lot of fraud going on at banks in Australia and I suspect the same is happening at the Telcos. Plus they keep sending me back to the 'case managers' in the Phillipines rather than resolving the issue from Australia. Given that I'm been making complaints for months now and the issues have been going on for months, I don't know why they can't just give me a single point of contact. Surely this is sucking up a lot of Optus's time as well?
I suspect Optus would be as frustrated / disappointed as you. FWIW if its a choice between incompetence and malfeasance I'd choose the later most times. Optus seem finally to be moving towards a single contact point service model but its a far way from working well at the moment.
Note your bank should have a record of all authorised DD accounts so you can check if Optus are connected with them too.
I can only suggest keep a tally of any inapropriate fees and Optus should just re-imberse them on request. Hopefully they get it sorted before they disconnect you. It might perhaps be easiest to get them to cancel the contract (without penalty) given the issues. You could then either try someone else or rego with Optus with a completely fresh account.
I've just discovered, through going onto chat on Twitter and using direct message, that they have been billing my old credit card for the account instead of the new one. This is going to cause problems with my book-keeping reconciliation and I have asked them to refund all unauthorised debits back to the credit card. The other course of action is that I raise them as Disputed Transactions with the bank and I'm inclined to do that anyway as Optus don't follow through on what they say they will do. They haven't followed my instructions for both mobile and home broadband but have chosen to action just mobile. Human error is one thing - someone goes on lunch break mid-task and forgets to finish - but I have been repeatedly bringing this up with them every few weeks and they have still got it wrong. There is no way I would re-contract with Optus now. Unfortunately no one in our area knows exactly when the NBN will arrive and I will need to recontact with someone then anyway. I don't particularly want the bother of having to do it twice. I do feel as though compensation for such a massive inconvenience is owing.