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Durv
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

over looked ? thats a nice way to run a business lol . as far as the rest of us ? if we all stood our ground theyd have to remove that ridiculous fee .
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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

I think what your overlooking is the payment industry is not a free service. Its a billion dollar global consortium. It doesn't cost a company nothing to accept payments (be that cash, credit card, direct debit or BPay). All have pros and cons and all have different costs associated.

What the ACCC has worked hard to do these last few years is make that cost more transparent as people would use different payment methods in all sorts of situations and be charged the same regardless of whether their method was cheap or expensive. This came to a head with credit cards and reward points because reward points are also costed into how much you pay at the checkout. So everyone was paying about 5% more for stuff despite only a few getting the benefits of the points etc.

So now Optus like all customers have reduced their set monthly fee for paying by credit card to just what it costs them to process the transaction. It works out to around 50c per $100 bill. Optus still offer a 'free' option (which still costs them money) but that should be seen as the benefit it is IMO rather than then saying everything should be free just because one thing is offered without charge.

Optus have as long as I can remember included processing fees in their contracts. So yes you have agreed to a contract and the fees associated. The CIS (Critical Information Summary) of all plans also notes these fee's. You've mentioned you've had these fees waived at some points and that's been good negotiating on your part, but Optus will have done this because you are a long term valued customer and not because you don't actually owe the amounts in question.

Optus don't want people to only pay by direct debit, but it is their preferred method and its the only one they will subsidise. They've been pretty upfront about it too.
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Durv
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

unfortunately i dont have a credit card to take up theyre special deals .im on a pension so i look forr the easiest cheapest way to do most everything . i dont like direct debits on anything . i like to control my own money ..i have always payed via bpay for donkeys years and never , never had the non direct debit fees . nor have i ever been told that i have to use direct debit or i will get a non direct debit fee .any change in my contract  should be sent to me as a writen notification and give me a chance to decide if i want to use that service . and i can guarantee if i have to pay that fee and not use  my usual method of over 20 years , i willl tell optus to jam theyre nbn and change to any other telco  because optus is the only telco that charge that fee around here . ive said it before , and ill say it again . any 1/2 decent business puts all , ALL their costs into account before they set a price .further more , optus is a no fee telco . in saying that .my bill is 70 a month , thats the contract i signed .thats what i should pay . n o fees means . unless i use more products data etc ,i only pay 70 a month . so the 2 x $2.20 each month are extras . written as fees .. paper bill fee and non direct debit fee . that goes totally against the contract .which makes it illegal .regardless of what the liberals and optus sympathises say ? cos we all know theyre apart of the rich get richer plan and stuff the poor .. and all the excuses of why they are charging this fee . that noone else seems to need to charge . cos they have theyre costs worked out , and actually try and help out their customers , short or long term , and no matter what way you choose to pay . you only pay what you signed up for .  the worlds going crazy and  the next generation is screwed . because entitled teens end up entitled adults who create even more entitled kids . and optus seem to think theyre entitled to use the bodgy john howard fee he introduced in 96 . i wont go back into the sub standard nbn we have in australia compared to other countries and the fact we pay more for it then other countries , and again because the government likes selling off all our assets and inventions and our country ,we have to pay for their stuff ups . if ppl dont make a stand on all of this , its going to just keep snow balling .australians are lazy theyd rather get ripped off then make an effort to correct being ripped off . were paying top dolllar to use an nbn (system) that is ran through 50 year old telstra lines so what am i paying for i wonder ? 

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maxmillion
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

Agree 100%

Has anyone contacted the ACCC regarding the legalities of this argument?

 

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Durv
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

well 1stly optus must supply an invoice for anything over 50 dollars for tax purposes free of charge by law . so if your getting charged for paper bills that is actually illegal . as far as direct debit fees .its a grey area ,its a stupid fee John Howard brought in in 96 . accc dont like it , and labour would wipe it out . but regardless of the law part . morally , its wrong .optus know this .thats why they do give some refunds on it .  but  we would be a minority . the majority of customers would not  know they get this and wouldnt understand , its a fee for not using a free service for so they can take your choice of payment method away from you . as ive said before .the contract i signed and the letters ive got over the years all say you can pay by bpay nowhere does it say you can pay byy bpay but be charged 2.20 for not using direct debit . and that is a tax invoice .whether it be paper or electronic its a legal document .
ive just pulled this from an " OPTUS "how to pay your nbn bill page . now unless im mistaken it states very clearly ,you can go online and pay your optus nbn bill via bpay . and only using cards will incur a charge of x % per month . the bpay option has nothing mentioned about cos or fees  .

>>>

Alternatively, log in to your My Account to pay online or to set up direct debit.

Note: Accounts with an NBNtm, ADSL or Cable service will be charged a $2.20 processing fee each month if they don't use direct debit. 

Other payment methods are listed below.

B-pay payments

You'll need your account number as this is your reference number and your biller code(s). Both can be found on the lower half of the first page of your bill.

as you see , they encourage you to use bpay .. what more is there to say ? 

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Nat73
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

I have looked into it and may well make a complaint. The requirement is that any fee associated with payment, regardless of what it is called, is a payment fee. Hence this non direct debit fee is a payment fee. This fee cannot be more than the cost to collect the payment. If a flat fee/ rate is applied across multiple payment options it must be the lowest cost point. ACCC advise organisations to use % rather than flat fee, as flat fee can result in higher % for lower cost items.
If Optus were smart about this, they would give a discount for using direct debit rather then charge a fee for not. That way they wouldn’t potentially be in breach of consumer law and wouldn’t have to employ people on this site to justify its application.
petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

@Nat73 ,

There's no law against giving something away for free. Optus can charge what they like for processing payments as long as it is equal or less than their actual costs. This law you cite also only applies to credit card payments (It pays to read the entire article 😊) so not relevant to direct debit or Paypal BPay etc. Optus only charge about .5% of your bill to process credit card payments which is well below the 1 - 1.5% the ACCC recommends as a reasonable levy.

Peter Gillespie

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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

A few incorrect statements  @Durv . The sum is apparently $82.50 when an invoice is required for tax purposes. Its also up to the business to decide the format (delivery method) of the invoice and a paper version is just one of many options (an emailed PDF is also fine). The details on invoice requirements are here

Not sure why you mention John Howard and direct Debit fees? The main point of this thread is that Optus don't charge any fees on direct debits (so presumably no issue there). 

Optus IMO have indeed made legally questionable moves when it comes to unreasonable contract terms (the current unlimited $10 excess data usage fee comes to mind) however they've been pretty careful with fees and charges. Like most companies they certainly have never done something because it was (debatably) morally wrong. Like almost all Optus customers you've likely never read your contract (its long and not front and centre and boring) but it clearly lays out your payment responsibilities:

9.5 What types of payment methods may you use?
(a) You may pay by one of the payment methods as set out in the "How to Pay" section of your bill or on our websites.
(b) Unless you pay by direct debit we will charge a payment processing fee if you choose to use a credit, charge or debit card to pay your bill.

Optus also adds the information to their Critical Information Summary

Billing
* Payment processing fee
If you don’t pay by direct debit (bank account or credit card) or BPay savings, a payment processing fee will apply. For details, go to optus.com.au/payments

And if that's not enough they also mention it on every bill they send you: 

* Pay with Direct Debit - the fee free way to go. From 01 Jan 2018, for all other payments made via credit, debit or charge cards, the payment processing fee will increase to 0.427% (incl. GST).

Your own quote "Accounts with an NBN, ADSL or Cable service will be charged a $2.20 processing fee each month if they don't use direct debit. " is as about as clear as you could get IMO.

But for all that Optus do seem willing to re-credit the payment processing fee in some instances so contacting them and getting agro and threatening to leave might be worth the effort for some. 

Peter Gillespie

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petergdownload
Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

"Agree 100%"

I was going to ask which bit @maxmillion but I guess 100% covers it all 😁

Peter Gillespie

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Durv
Occasional Contributor
Occasional Contributor

Re: Non Direct Debit Fee

you say its all straight forward , but that re quote is not as its written . the bit about fees is not in the section of bpaying . the bpay section is separated from that quote . in the bpay option it says nothing about fees nor that you will be penalised for using it . it is a payment option from optus .. once again misleading information , im sure you guys have dibs in optus . because if you have this discussion with anyone else they dont like hidden sneaky fees . and think this fee is wrong . as far as me mentioning its a john howard fee .is important .because he dreamt up this stupid fee .its a liberal fee .with grey areas . seriously , i have not come across this anywhere else . so why with a leading telco ? do they really need to add hidden charges of 2.,20 to ppl ? are they that bad off they cant cover a method of payment they advertise to use ?  obviously with so many ppl upset over these fees ? it must be a morel issue as well  .  as it states optus has been using this fee only since last year , why ? when the fees been there since 96 . why has it taken optus 23 years to implement this fee . when they havnt before unless its  nit picking to grab every available cent they can from us .thats a morel issue if ever i saw one .especially when ppl like me have been with optus all of those years , loyally , and they go and throw that fee in just cos they feel like it now . great reward for loyalty isnt it ?

banks do the same now . it use to be an honour for a bank to have your business , and they rewarded you with a reward of interest on your money . now you get a bill for using banks and letting them play with your money , you actually pay them  to make themselves money . on your money . if that isnt wrong i dont know what is .. this country is on a downward spiral  . and its big business sending us there ..

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