cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Ask a Question
Welcome to the new look Community! We're still upgrading and making some changes to the platform over the coming weeks! Stay tuned.
Occasional Contributor CoryC
Occasional Contributor

Non Direct Debit Fee

I was with Optus mobile for over a year & then signed up online to home phone & broadband package as well. Previously my bill for my mobile phones was without any fees or charges, l paid monthly by bpay.

The first bill received for all my connected services after l had home phone & broadband connected had a non-direct debit fee $2.20 (incl GST, aka the John Winston Howard tax).

My position was I'm not getting anything for that fee & it's not costing them anything because l don't pay by direct debit so the fee is unjustified. Look at it this way, if I use direct debit it's free but if l don't use it then I have to pay for not using it plus any fee associated with the means l actually use to pay (ie. credit card surcharge etc.). This is simply abstract logic in the extreme.

Anyhow, when I discovered this tiny coperate theft by Optus from me I rang them up, went through that bs phone maze they have, eventually spoke to someone in customer relations who l simply told to disconnect all my services. Instead he chose to credit my account $2.20 x 24mths ($52.80) to solve the dispute.

I've been to the Ombudsman (TIO) & ACCC about this issue & quiet frankly l think they're both in cahoots with Optus. This matter won't resolve with Liberal in federal government.

When my 24mths contract ends they'll  have the choice put to them again, either credit my account for any future non-direct fees or I'll move telcos...simple (Best idea for Optus however would be to realize the jig is up & scrap non-direct debit fees altogether)

Tags (1)
40 Replies
Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Interesting example of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. That's the first time I've ever heard of the direct debit fee being waived on request. 

 

The fee does cause annoyance for many people but it is quite reasonable IMO. There is actually a fee on every method of payment at Optus. Optus is not unusual in this regard. Optus offer the benefit of providing a free payment method if you set up a direct debit facility. This has a number of benefits for Optus and presumably is why they are willing to waive the very real costs of accepting electronic payments. 

 

Not sure if a change in government will have any impact on Optus billing proceedures but we can hope.

 

Peter Gillespie

0 Kudos
Reply
Occasional Contributor CoryC
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Well you sound sympathetic & supportive of Optus. Suggesting it's ok to be charged for not paying using free direct debit as well as the charges for paying by credit card is rediculous.

It's not reasonable to be charged for not using something. The offering of a fee free method of payment by telcos is a requirement by law, choosing not to use it costs nothing so there's no expense for Optus to claim that justifies the fee.

How can something if used be free but if not used cost money?

You should stay away from commenting on posts of dispute, Optus doesn't need your help to justify ripping their customers off.

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

I tend to take each post on its merits. Optus has some significant corporate fails, which I've said plenty on. But in this area I think Optus has been quite reasonable.

 

How can something if used be free but if not used cost money?

 

The answer is its not 'free'. It all costs money. By not using direct debit you are choosing to use another method of payment. Which costs money. Optus has decided to subsidise the cost of using a particular payment method because they want to encourage people to choose that method. This satisfies the legal requirement to offer a fee free payment option. If you want to use another method then Optus are completely up front about the cost of doing so. 

 

Peter Gillespie

0 Kudos
Reply
Occasional Contributor CoryC
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

You're grasping at straws. Optus cannot pass the cost of their legally obligated fee free option onto customers who pay their accounts by other means. FEE FREE means FEE FREE, in simple terms it's a cost they're legally obligated to absorb for the payment option Optus have choosen to be FEE FREE, NOT PASS ON TO OTHER CUSTOMERS. Optus gets to choose which payment option it offers as FEE FREE & it must absorb that cost.

How others choose to pay their accounts is a matter for them, it's most certainly not a matter for me nor is there any legally acceptable rationale that I as a customer of commercial company Optus be required to subsidize any aspect of anyone elses bill.

You clearly represent Optus under the guise of a voluntary contributor & you should stop. My initial post was for all customers who have a grievance with Non-Direct Fees & to share a pathway to be rid of it permanently, not for you to harp on & on about how hard done by Optus is in having to legally provide a FEE FREE method of payment & how Optus is justified to circumvent bearing their cost of providing a FEE FREE method for payments by getting other customers to pay a penalty to subsidize those who permit direct debits on their bank accounts.

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

It's an open forum. I am struggling to follow your logic. You're essentially suggesting that because Optus (or any company) are required to offer a free payment option then all other payment  must be fee free. 

 

You do realise that BPay is a third party financial service? It makes its money by charging a percentage of every transaction to the institution. So when you pay your monthly bill through then, Optus immediately loses a few dollars on the total. They're quite entitled to pass that cost onto the customer IMO. 

 

I think it's important not to confuse your discount with having any legal basis. You've negotiated firmly and Optus have presumably made the decision that the $1000's you will be paying over the next 24 months is worth a ~2% discount. Another cs might likely have just disconnected you as you requested.

 

Be interesting if any other Forum members can report a similar success.

 

Peter Gillespie

0 Kudos
Reply
Occasional Contributor CoryC
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

You can blab on & on until the end of time but I will never pay even $0.01 to subsidize your Optus services or anyone elses for that matter. It burns my mind to even think it but I'd return to Telstra rather than subsidize the choices you make.

You now need to move on & annoy someone else, thanks.

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Really don't get where you think this 'subsididation' is occurring.

 

1) Optus offer a free payment option

2) Accepting BPay payments costs Optus money  

3) If you choose to use BPay Optus pass this cost onto you. 

 

I'm not trying to annoy, just understand the point you are trying to make. So far all I can see is that you just threatened to leave Optus and they gave you a small discount to stay. A valid negotiation tactic (and in your case it appears to have paid off) but that doesn't make the rationale reasonable.

 

Peter Gillespie

0 Kudos
Reply
Occasional Contributor MrPhone
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Im with you all the way! I think some people have too much money to burn and really dont give a crap about others...this $2 fee is unacceptable and it amazes me how Optus have made it this far without having their arse sued! 

Such a dodgy cash grab company. 

Not only does Optus give rubbish service they also steal money of their customers, what a joke! 

Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

I don't get on what basis you would "sue" Optus. Its pretty standard practice for most intitutions and stores to charge a processing fee for using various payment methods. 

 

Some choose to absorb the fee but really all they do is hide it in slightly higher costs for buying their goods or services (people who want to pay cash or use a free option lose the ability to do so and so pay higher prices by default) 

 

That said, recent legal changes have meant sellers can now only recover the actual cost of payment processing. The $2 fee is starting to look a bit high considering most monthly plans are well under $100. Especially given Optus size, they must only pay around 0.5% in costs.

 

But otherwise if the fee is of concern then selecting the option that doesn't involve paying it would seem an obvious choice.

 

Regards

 

Peter Gillespie

0 Kudos
Reply