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Changes to Third Party Content Charges for Optus Postpaid and Prepaid mobile customers

Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager
11 25 103K

Notice - 17/10/18


We’re undertaking a comprehensive review of customers affected by this activity and will be providing refunds to those customers affected, taking into consideration the fact that some customers may already have been refunded.


Customers that want to raise a complaint regarding a premium SMS/direct carrier billing service, please use our online complaints form →


  1. Enter your name and preferred contact method
  2. Tell us when you’d like to be contacted
  3. Please make sure you answer, “direct carrier billing,” under the question “which account are you experiencing issues with.”
  4. Leave us with a description of your issue
  5. Submit your complaint 



We constantly review our relationship with Third Party Content Providers to ensure we’re offering our customers the best mix of services and content offerings. After receiving ongoing customer feedback relating to Third Party Content charges, we’re no longer allowing customers to purchase certain subscription-based Third Party Content from 31 January 2018 through their Optus mobile services that use the Optus network.

What this means is that certain Third Party Content Providers will no longer be permitted to charge new mobile content subscriptions to customers through their Optus mobile service that use the Optus network.


This will not affect one-off purchases such as charity donations, TV voting and TV competitions. The changes will also have no effect on existing subscriptions or new subscriptions set up prior to 31 January 2018.


By no longer allowing payment for certain subscription-based Third Party Content Providers through Optus mobile services on the Optus network, we’re working to reduce the number of customers who find they’ve been charged unexpectedly.


If you think you might be affected by the changes we’ve outlined, take a look at our list of FAQS below.


What are Third Party Content charges?

Third Party Content charges appear on your Optus bill or come out of your Prepaid credit when you subscribe to online content such as mobile games and quizzes provided by Third Party Content Providers. We’ve listened to feedback about how frustrating it can be when an unexpected Third Party Content charge appears on your Optus bill or comes out of your Prepaid credit and this is why we are making the changes outlined above.

I am an Optus mobile customer with an existing Third Party Content subscription being charged to my bill or deducted out of my Prepaid credit. Will I be impacted by this change?

No, if your existing subscription was set up prior to 31 January 2018, it will continue to be charged to your Optus bill or deducted out of your Prepaid credit. There is no change to such existing subscriptions charged by Optus on behalf of the Third Party Content Providers.

I am an existing Optus mobile customer and want to subscribe to new Third Party Content provided by Third Party Content Providers. Can I have this charged to my Optus mobile bill or deducted out of my Prepaid credit?

From 31 January 2018, it is no longer possible to have new ongoing subscriptions charged to your Optus bill or deducted out of your Prepaid credit from certain Third Party Content Providers.

Will these changes impact how I subscribe to my video or music streaming services like Netflix, Spotify and Google Play?

The following content will not be affected and can still be charged to your Optus mobile bill or deducted out of your Prepaid credit:


      • Netflix
      • Spotify
      • Google Play (Post-paid customers only)
      • Yes TV by Fetch
      • Optus Sports
      • One-time third party purchases (e.g. charity donations, TV voting and competitions)

Since some of my subscription content can no longer be charged to my Optus bill or deducted out of my Prepaid credit, can I pay for it in other ways?

Yes, each Third Party Content Provider provides a range of payment options for you to utilise, such as PayPal and credit card payment.


Will I still be able to enter competitions and have those charged to my Optus bill or deducted out of my Prepaid credit?


Yes you can. The changes we are making will not affect one-off Third Party Content purchases such as charity donations, TV voting and TV competitions for Optus mobile customers.


For information on how to check or manage Third Party Content, click here.

To chat to one of our Pre-paid mobile or Postpaid mobile agents please click here.

If you’re unable to contact us via Live Chat, head to our Contact Us page here where you’ll find alternative ways to get in touch with us.

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Well that's a start.

Occasional Contributor CountryGal
Occasional Contributor

OPTUS - congratulations - a very good move (albeit overdue) and one that we hope all Australian telcos emulate - but you're the first - so KUDOS.!!


Have been very careful to ensure that a $0 limit has been in place on each of our services in order to avoid issues with premium SMS - but not everyone is that cautious or savvy - so to lock out the parasites is a logical step on your part. 

Occasional Visitor Gryphonn
Occasional Visitor

Good move. I use some Google Play services but have always been diligent in ensuring those rip-off premium services don't trick me into a recurring payment nightmare. I believe it is up to the user to carefully check what they're doing on their phone, but also understand that in this 'not my fault' society, telcos need to cover their butts as much as possible. This will hopefully lock out those rip-off services that use subterfuge to make money.

New Member BlueBarber
New Member

This is the only reason I'm with optus. No spotify and I'm out. I'll be changing providers in the new year. 

Blog Author

Hi BlueBarber,

Just to clarify for you above, Spotify will not be affected. The service will continue as normal 🙂

Occasional Visitor Trafalgar26
Occasional Visitor

Does this affect my premier league viewership? If not,then I don’t mind.

Blog Author

I can confirm that there wont be any impacts to you being able to watch the Premier League with Optus @Trafalgar26. Let us know if we can help with anything further!

New Member Dankestdrunkest
New Member
As long as there’s Spotify I’m a happy man can’t imagine life without it 😅✌️
Occasional Visitor aszneescootnu
Occasional Visitor

I use my pre-paid credit to pay for games on g2a using boku mobile pay service. Will this not be available anymore? What will I be able to do with my credit once this is implemented? I am on the supercharger prepaid plan @Optus @JustinB

New Member Hbester
New Member

So Netflix will still be data free??

Moderator Aman_B

Hi @Hbester, Netflix is data free only for eligible post paid plans. Prepaid plans are not affected by this change. 

Moderator Aman_B

Hi @aszneescootnu, if this is already subscribed then you won't be impacted but please do let us know if there are any hiccups. 

New Contributor DOmoderated
New Contributor

Somewhat delayed Optus correction to a problem of their making. But a positive result none the less.

Occasional Visitor Jo-G
Occasional Visitor

Good to see you doing something about these unwanted Third Party Charges. However just received a text message from +1(978) 922-0 with weekly subscriptions of $9.99/wk!

Hope I don't see any charge deduction on my account as I have not opened or subscribed at all!

RetiredModerator PhilC

Hi @Jo-G if you'd like to send through the full name, number and date of birth attached to your account via a PM → we'd be happy to check this for you. 

New Contributor Phil2000
New Contributor

Does this mean the money that was stolen from my wife’s account will now be returned to her and will Optus accept liability for the theft. We have spent many hours trying to resolve this only to receive a text saying “issue resolved” from Optus.

Moderator Kartika

Hey @Phil2000, These are Premium Content charges come through from the third party Services like these sometimes subscribe you through banners and advertising on your mobile. This can occur in apps or through your web browser. Unfortunately, you may have inadvertently accepted the subscription this way.  Check out this article for more info. That`s ok as I can apply barring to Premium content (1900 numbers) on your service so that you cannot subscribe and will not be charged from now on. I can also escalate the charges with the third party to contact you in 5 working days for a full refund. Can you please PM us → here your phone number / account number, full name and DOB to proceed if you still need assistance. Kartik

New Contributor Bron357
New Contributor

Why can’t every user be protected from these scammers? I’m on a contract plan and I got scammed.

They are scammers, I never asked for or knowingly subscribed to Quizmania and they just started sending me SMS and charging me $9 a week. You have to ring a premium “19” number to STOP and their terms and conditions agreement says that the simple act of them sending you an SMS which contain some “link” or something, that you never asked for, enables them to charge you. So even if you cancel 2 seconds after received the scam SMS you still get charged the $9 plus the cost of the “19” number. How can that be permissible?. And how did they get my mobile number in the first place? Great scam business model, scam 1,000 mobile phone numbers with an unsolicited and unwanted content and Optus will give you over $10,000 of those sucker mobile phone owners money - no problem. 


New Contributor Bron357
New Contributor

And I forgot to say, I do not use my mobile phone for any other purpose than phone calls. I have an iPad that I do all my web searching / Facebook / game playing etc on. So how did Quizmania get my mobile number? So who is selling or sharing my mobile phone number with these scammers? It isn’t me. Optus knows this scam activity is going on and by not stopping it outright is letting, even condoning, scammers to steal mobile phone customers money.

Quizmania doesn’t even publish an Australian address for their business. They are in Germany. They have a phone number that goes to a computer generated voicemail - there is no way you can contact them and demand a full refund.

I can’t imagine they are paying any tax on the money they steal, and who knows, they could even be associated with a Terrorist group !

Nice Optus, nice.




New Member Collinsc
New Member

I have been charged three times over the last three weeks for $6.99 each time by a thurs party content provider, Womooda. I did not subscribe to any third party service, nor am I using the services of one. I am aware that this is a scam organisation. I have tried all of the instructions given on the Optus site and app, but I can not locate the third party provider spend adjuster. Optus is not answering live chat, and the recorded phone message at the help line says that they are too busy to take my call. I need this provider cancelled from my account immediately, and I need to be reimbursed for the $21 that I have been scammed of so far. Please respond ASAP, Optus. This is the third way I have had to go through you to try to access assistance. 

RetiredModerator Hannah-L

Hey @Collinsc, I'm sorry to hear you were having trouble contacting us via other methods. If you'd like to send me a PM with your full name, DOB and mobile number we can take a look into this for you.

New Member Narada
New Member

Thanks Optus, otherwise I have to change to other party it was very scared when someone taking your account without approval.,so move on to protect your customers 

New Member JS56
New Member
I have been waiting for three months for money taken from my account to be returned, and despite many promises from Optus officers no money have ever been credited to my account. The companies MIA and simply refuse to enter into any conversation and Optus will not help resolve the issue. We did not at any time subscribe to these services and the third party companies say they have no record of how they got our details and what services the they offers. Help Optus. Why can't you just resolve this matter for me, its only $60.
New Contributor KlemzigPaul
New Contributor

Hello, i received this message yesterday “FreeMsg: Smartmag costs $15.00 for 1000 mobile content items. HELP:1800793904” from this number +1 (978) 999-9. i was on facebook reading an article when i received this. I replied STOP straight away, but today have noticed $15.50 has been added to my post paid account. I thought Optus had stopped this from happening as Telstra has. 

Online Community Manager
Online Community Manager




Thanks for reaching out.


I've copied a response I'd posted from a similar thread. Hopefully it's of some use to you. 


 Changes have been made in response to customer feedback. I'd suggest checking out the following threads.



For the moment, we'd suggest jumping onto live chat →'d need to ask the consultant to action the following for you.


  • Ask that they set your Premium SMS spend limit to $0.00. This prevents any third party provider from charging your Optus account.
  • Ask that they raise a dispute with MIA Sphere Live. We're looking at a contact time-frame of 2-3 working days. Once the refund has been approved, it'll be credited back into your Optus account by the time your next invoice is due to come through.
  • We suggest paying the difference between your regular charge and premium content service charge. You will not be penalised whilst a dispute is in progress. 

If you need us to follow up on your refund, message us back here and we'll gladly help out.