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2019-05-20 06:06 PM
Hi everyone, I would appreciate if I could get some advise on a contract issue I have with Optus.
I have recently signed up for a 24 months, $80 p/m home wireless broadband contract with Optus, the plan comes with 500GB of data, and a Huawei 4G modem.
The plan was priced at $80 for the past month or more (I believe since Dec18).
Before ordering this plan, I have done the following research:
1) Spoke with sales Rep in Eastgarden Optus shop and confirmed that modem is included free of charge for 24 months contract for the above plan.
2) Spoke with sales Rep in East Village Optus shop and confirmed that modem is included free of charge for 24 months contract for the above plan.
3) Triple-checked the Optus website terms and conditions that the Huawei B525 is included at no extra cost for 24 months contact.
I haved decided to sign up for this deal over the phone on 13th May, at the time the plan have gone up to $85 p/m, I spoke with the sales rep over the phone and asked if she would be able to assist me in getting the previous $80 p/m plan as I missed out by a few days (as part of goodwill).
She was able to put this order through as $80 p/m, and as part of the confirmation when you sign over the phone, she confirmed that "you don't pay for the modem".
There is however, a mistake in the contract and the modem is billed as 24 months at $8 p/m (total $192).
I noticed it on the contract that was emailed to me AFTER the phone call. At first I did not pay attention to the error.
Two days ago I received the first bill for this new service, and the $8 is now part of the payment.
I had an internet chat with support and they say they don't see anything on the contract or system that saids the modem is free of charge. They also have absolutely no knowledge of the plan that was on offer for the past few months. They told me the only option was to request for the voice recording made on the day of the order, in order to waive the $8 p/m modem fee.
Today I received a call from the same internet chat rep, she passed me over to the voice team. After waiting for a while, I ended up with a rather impatient and moderately rude operator who questioned the legitimacy of my request, claiming she does not see any notes referring to a free modem on my plan. I explained the situation to her, and that the order was made over the phone, and the contract was sent to me after the call, so there was obviously no way I could have checked that the phone sales rep's mistake and latched on a repayment plan for the modem.
She tried to make it difficult by telling me she cannot check the call unless I have the time and date of the call (to which I have a record of it), and she asked for the name of the sales rep (which I also have), then she told me she cannot see the name of that sales rep in my account notes! The only way she can access the call recording is to have the correct name of the sales and time matched in the system (in which she claims she is unable to find)!
I can't believe the trash that is coming off her mouth – she is definitely not making it easy to fix an error made by their sales team!
She was also reluctant to give me her name, and the case reference number when asked. Really bad mannered. She is going to raise the issue with the voice team (again? and I though she was the team), and call me in 24-48 hrs "if that is what the sales said".
At the end of the day, I was entitled to a modem free of charge as part of the plan, now they have slapped on $192 over 24 months which, while is not a huge sum, it is unfair and unreasonable cost that I do not intend and need to bear.
Who should I contact if I cannot get this resolved over the phone? I have a screen shot of the yescrowd post and other reputable websites that mentions the free modem. I am also 100% certain that the sales rep confirmed the modem was free of charge.
Apologies for the long read
2019-05-20 07:25 PM
Are you sure it didn't say no up front modem costs on the $80 plan? It's easy to be mislead by that statement.
2019-05-20 09:36 AM - edited 2019-05-20 09:37 AM
Hi @Felixity ,
I do take issue with how Optus handles its contractual obligations. It has set up a deliberately vague process and most importantly it is not actually possible to get a simple document that details what has been negotiated. This is supposed to be the point of the CIS but these just state any bonuses etc. are not listed here. These days just about every Optus deal is heavily based on bonuses and changes to the base CIS. Its a contract and Optus should be providing upfront clear documentation of what has been agreed.
It doesn't help that various staff seem to be able to leave (or claim has been left) no details on your file.
As to your situation, I'd agree with @Yeldarb that its possible you misunderstood the modem fee structure. I agree the wording is ambiguous at best "An Optus modem is provided for no upfront cost" could easily be read as "free". Its there. However consumer Law means all representations made to you in the sale must be included. So your items 1 and 2 would count but in practice they are probably unlikely to recal / agree that's what they said.
The recording however should be fine and Optus must have a recording otherwise they don't have a contract. So its definitely on file somewhere and should definitely be available on request. I'd try again on another call (yes it is a big waste of time). If you don't get anywhere then I would let the system take over on your behalf:
1) Write a letter to the Optus complaints department. Just needs to say the sales person promised no cost on the phone and that you have requested the recording twice and it hasn't been provided. You would like a copy of the recording or the modem cost reimbursed from your bill. Probably doesn't hurt to tell them if you don't get a responce in 14 days you will be forwarding your complaint to the TIO.
2) You should get an official written response and a complaint number at least. Hopefully that sorts the matter.
3) If its not the outcome you are after then you can submit the complaint to the TIO Ombudsman who deals with contractual issues and has the power to tell Optus what to do. They also do the work on your behalf so hopefully they get a resolution.
2019-05-20 10:12 AM
Thank you very much for your detailed reply and analysis.
I agree the CIS wording is very ambiguous and it is quite open to different interpretations, which can be misleading.
I will see how it goes in the next 48 hours, when I get a reply from Optus.
If not I shall take your advise and request for a formal copy of the recording.
Will report back here. Appreciate your help.
2019-05-25 12:08 PM
It has been more than 48 hours since my phone conversation with the Optus Rep.
As expected, she did not return my call as agreed.
I am now sending a complaint via the form at Optus website, I am keen to speak to a better qualified rep to resolve the issue.