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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Except the company you had your contract with doesn't exist any more. Optus migrated Vivid customers but you still entered with a new contract if you took up the offer (you were also free to leave without penalty). The new contract is also month to month.

I'm not sure but I presume Vivid also offered a fee free direct debit option? so that remained available.
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Jimmid
New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Also, just wondering, if you pay manually by credit card you incur the credit card fee, do you also incur the non direct debit fee?
If so, while optus can recover it's cost for the credit card transaction, it would make the non direct debit fee a penalty, which is illegal under Australian consumer law.
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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

You're correct. Which is why Optus revised the fee. There is no longer a $2.20 non direct debit fee, just a payment processing fee. For debit/credit card payments the fee is a one off 0.427% so for a $100 monthly plan the cost of manually paying your bill is a more reasonable (and legal) 43c.
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Jimmid
New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Good. It was a silly idea to start with.  

A penalty to force you to direct debit was obviously going to be illegal. 

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maxmillion
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Does this mean Optus will have to re-imburse  it's customers the "illegal" non direct debit fee they have been charging  all this time?

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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Well its been about four years since the laws were introduced.

IME Optus tended to refund the $2.20 charge each month if you rang up and complained (every month).

At this stage you could well request around $300 in refunds. Optus will either concede or not. If they don't then its probably a lot of effort getting the ACCC to step in.
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Honesteffort20
New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Dear Honoured contributor

It's the vibe of the thing.

Is it ethical to charge someone for a service, then charge them to pay for the service?

It's a rort. And another sneaky thing tied into this is that Optus force you to accept direct debits taken out on the latest possible due date. The real-life implication of this is that if the payment falls over, you automatically cop a $15 late payment fee - I have no idea why my payment failed when there was so much money in the account and the card details were correct. But my only option was to re-pay and I have no evidence to bring before Optus to explain why. In effect, the onus for evidence is on me, while the information for the failure is in their control. If they at least gave you the option to set up auto payments earlier for those that want to, then there would be no problem. But I'm sure they clean up nicely the way things are set up currently.

And charging you to pay for your service just takes the cake. 

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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

"Dear Honoured contributor"
That's an Optus thing (I don't get a choice what names they call me 🐵 )

"Is it ethical to charge someone for a service, then charge them to pay for the service?"
I'd ask you why wouldn't it be? Many businesses sell stuff and then when you're at the register they say that will be 2% more if you want to pay by card? Is that ethical? Processing fees are a real cost the business has to cover and its your personal choice to use (or not use) a payment method with such costs.

I'd ask is it ethical for you and your personal decision to not set up a direct debit to be subsidised be me and others who don't want to use cards or pay the processing fee? Make no mistake, the fee is being charged the only question is whether its hidden/included in the price of the service or if its split out as optional. As it stands you have a choice to pay or not pay. Seems fair?

Can't speak to the lateness of the direct debit date. Usually you get a bill by email a week earlier. If the direct debit fails then its retried a few times over the next few days. I'm not sure at what point the late fee is actually applied. I do know you generally don't need any 'proof' for the occasional payment mishap. As I said above you just contact Optus and they'll pretty much re-credit the $15 (if charged) on the next bill. Seems fair?

Peter

PS I do agree the $2.50 fee was way too high but the new ~40c fee is IMO a fair bit to bilk us.

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Brettley
New Contributor
New Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

I have 3 mobile phone services with Optus (2 for family). Then I switched to Optus for NBN when I moved house last year. Instead of merging my accounts, I now have multiple accounts, each being gouged with a $2.20 non direct debit fee.

They also started sending me this new NBN account via snail mail and charging me $2.20 a month for that as well.

Luckily, I'm not in contract with any of them so after 20 years, I'll be ditching Optus entirely. This is just a rip off

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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

@Brettley the $2.20 fee is likely due to the paper bill. Just request it be stopped and request a refund for the fees so far. Also request the accounts be merged as Ootus automatically family shares the data.

The non-direct debit fee is under 50c for most customers now. Its your choice if you don't want to set up direct debit or pay 50c a month.

I can only agree that Optus structures its business so that the default 'mistake' is the customer pays. They then make it hard to fix the mistake. They really need to change that corporate culture as there is so much choice in both mobile and NBN that fleecing your customers is going to start to hurt their bottom line.