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New Contributor Jen52
New Contributor

Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

 Totally digusted to find that I am going to be charged an extra $2.20 for not using direct debit. That means I cannot pay my bill early, so they are penalising me for that. Are you going down the tubes or what, seems like you are dragging every dollar in that you can. What is the problem with paying in My Account. Really really p'd off. After many years of loyalty I am having second thoughts.

11 Replies
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Or instead of being a fee it could be seen as a discount? Companies like direct debit because it gives them more certainty of regular payment and possibly has lower overheads administrating. Its also a legal contract that gives access to your bank account that customers can't end without the companies agreement. So a $2 buck discount is offered to entice people to set one up.

 

That said, I believe the fee is not for not using direct debit to settle debts, its for not having the facility set up.  So there's nothing stopping you setting up a direct debit but paying your bill with another method whenever you want. I can see one of two scenarios:

 

1) You get the bill. Direct Debit for that amount set to activate a week later. You pay the bill via say credit card. The Direct Debit activates in full (so you've basically paid the bill twice) but next month you get the bill (less the over payment - so probably close to $0) you can keep paying one month ahead whenever you like or you can skip whenever and either the DD will sort it out or you can start it again.

 

2) You get the bill. Direct Debit for that amount set to activate a week later. You pay the bill via say credit card. The Direct Debit activates on the outstanding amount only (which should be $0). Done

 

Obviously option 2 would be better, but I don't know it Optus can change its direct debit amount once the bill is issued. Either way you avoid the fee and pay on your own schedule using the method you prefer. 

 

Hope that makes sense Smiley Happy

 

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor Jen52
New Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Dear Peter

I thought we were moving to a cashless society. I am a pensioner and cannot afford to leave $70 lying in an account just in case. I do not trust Opus because they tried to take money before when it was not due and it cost me $9. They offered to cancel the Direct Debit when that happened, I accepted. I did get the $9 credited to my account but it was not easy. Who are the card fees high for? I bet if I went into one of their shops to buy a phone they would not buck at a dr/cr card. As I said I have been with them for a long time (over 8 years ) and have not had bad debts with them and have been at the same address for the same amount of time so I would not consider myself a credit risk. I understand everyone does not have the same circumstances but this is where loyalty should be considered. Anyway who does not accept dr/cr cards these days, by the way it is a dr card. I also pay 2 bucks for the paper bill but that is what I want and is my choice.

I have complained to the ombudsman anyway.

 

Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Direct debit is cashless? Smiley Wink

 

But, yes I understand that money can be put to better uses than trying workarounds. 

 

FWIW the Ombudsman isn't there to tell companies how to run their business. If Optus have operated incorrectly, illegally or even immorally they can step in to try fix a situation.

 

Regards 

 

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor Jen52
New Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Yes and that is why you have a dr/cr card.

I will do whatever I can to try to stop this additional charge. It is not fare whatever way you look at it.

You seem very one eyed, are you an employee?

Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Would you believe me if I said no? Smiley Happy If I am then 8:30 pm on a Sunday suggests I'm highly motivated.

 

FWIW I'm an impartial observer. If you scan back you'll note I've just tried to provide a solution to your issue you may not have considered. I've also pointed out that complaints to the TIO on this matter are well outside its capacity to fix. 

 

Complaining on this site is probably your best option. It won't change anything (IMO) but it just adds weight to a general feedback on this issue and perhaps at some point Optus (and many other companies) will change how they use direct debits.

 

I agree it would be an excellent idea if penalty fees etc. applied if you actually did something wrong. How Optus get paid each month should be irrelevant. If you always pay on time then no penalty. 

 

Regards

 

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor Jen52
New Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Yes you did try and I poohoo'd your suggestions with good reasons. My bill was always EARLY or on time while I paid on My Account with my dr card. I noticed all of your kudos but I'm afraid you will not be getting one from me.

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Lucky, I'm not doing this for the fame 🙂

 

Hopefully someone else might jump in with an alternative approach.

 

Good Luck

 

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor TigerTotty
New Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

I've also just been charged, for the first time in over 3 years of being an Optus broadband customer. The charge has just appeared on my bill, like many others on this site, I normally pay early, never once late. 

 

Although it's nominal, it's a kick in the teeth ... I have zero reason to stay with Optus, the speed is average, my contact with customer service below average and their prices are a slightly over market rates with only EPL as a plus (which I now get through Fox anyway). 

 

So for me I'm going to look around for a better package, a quicker speed, better bundle ... I probably wouldn't have bothered had this amazingly stupid charge not appeared out of the blue ... however it has, so I'll shortly be saying bye bye Optus. See you around ... maybe?

 

TT 

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Re: Extra fee for not using Direct Debit

Hi @Jen52, sorry you feel this way regarding the Direct Debit policy. It is our preferred method of payment and as such we waive all transactions fees including credit card surcharges when this method it use. Having Direct Debit set up won't stop you paying manually if you so choose to. The direct debit transaction will only take the remaining balance of the account at the time it's due. This means if you've already paid it in full and in advance, the direct debit for that month with be $0. 

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