I just received a threat by email from a legit lawyers firm, saying I owe a huge amount of money to Optus.
My problems are :
- My ex partner offered my a phone last year, but she apparently used my informations to subscribe to a 24 months contract with Optus
- She offered me the phone like 1,5 month before my Working Holiday Visa expired, and Optus didn’t do any visa check to see if I was eligible ? Does it mean anyone can use my informations to put a debt on my name ?
- I never received any email from Optus regarding that debt
- I’m a foreigner, so I travelled, went back home etc... and never had anything from Optus.
- As a student, and without a job, I don’t have the money to pay it.
Looking forward to get help from you guys...
Im actually considering legal procedures towards Optus at the moment as my informations aren’t safe at all apparently.
So definitely good to get on the front foot with this. Note that getting your own lawyers for such small (less than $5000) amounts is unlikely to be productive IMO.
First up it is a legal requirement for the lawyers to provide you with all the details on exactly how the debt was incurred, why they believe the debt is yours and how much the debt is exactly.
It is definitely unclear how your partner signed you up to a contract. Is it possible they gave you a sheet to sign at some point and you did?
Your first point should be getting the above information including what document or recording they have that indicates you have agreed to take responsibility for this debt.
Its also possible there is a mix up still. You're assuming it is for the phone you got. Again find out exactly what the debt is for and that the details match.
Have you received an official debt collection notice with a reference number on it?
Without jumping the gun, payment options can be worked out. Also if you don't intend to return to Australia for a while then you could just ignore the debt. Generally all debts are totally cancelled after 7 years in Australia.
I definitely plan to stay in Australia for a while, I’ve talked with Optus on the live chat last week about that, and they confirmed it was the phone. My ex probably took my informations etc... and somehow managed to confirm online a 24 months plan. But again, I only had less than 2 months left on my visa...
The only thing I signed was at the post office, when she told me she had a surprise for me there.
My problem now is she’s now back in France living her best life, and I’m in Australia with over 4000$ debt on my shoulders... I don’t want my credit check to be bad, as I am now in a relationship with a Australian girl, so I’ll most likely be living here for a while...
Ok. So since debt collectors are involved your credit rating is probably already hit. Sign up for a free report at CreditSavy and see what is listed.
I know its not the answer you want but I think you are on the hook for this one. Optus will only hand over a phone to the account holder after a signature. Since you took possession of the phone you essentially confirmed the online order that was made in your name.
It doesn't seem that your ex acted maliciously, essentially organising for a phone and contract on your behalf and leaving you the phone? Things have obviously gone south since but either way you are the person with the phone and the plan and the debt.
In a true identity theft case you would be able to state you never got the phone and never gave the details willing etc. But in this case you've provided the details and signed for the goods and presumably still have the device.
If you want to dispute it then perhaps request proof that you entered in to this contract. If it can't be supplied then the debt should be cancelled. In Australia the Telco ombudsman is called the TIO buy the way. They can help in disputes.
But otherwise perhaps question the debt amount and arrange to pay it off in instalments. If you want a good value low cost mobile plan to use in the mean time let us know.
Sorry I can't offer more but when it comes to contracts and finances hopefully you've learnt not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
Yeah I actually think she’s done it maliciously because I didn’t give her my details, I think she just used my passport and all the informations Optus asks online to apply for a plan... while I was not home probably. My problem is that Optus didn’t do any credit or visa check on it !
Because we left Australia not long after she did this (expired visa). I genuinely thought she bought me a phone to celebrate something, as the only paper I signed was at the post office to pick up the phone. I never interacted with any Optus staff !
I never received any bills or anything from Optus, just a Control Credit Check email transferred last week, from an email address with my name on it, but it’s definitely not my email address. And it says that I owe a huge amount of money to Optus, I didn’t know about.
So I think she’s done an email address just to apply for the plan... and now she doesn’t answer any messages and blocked me everywhere...
And as a student, and without a job, I can’t pay for almost 5000$ for something I didn’t know about...!
Optus wouldn't do a Visa check normally. They would usually do a credit check and presumably yours was fairly clean.
Leaving aside your ex's motivations, from Optus point of view you provided all the identification required, passed a credit check and provided the correct ID when you signed for the delivery of the phone itself.
What is the break down of the debt? Obviously there is a cost for the phone that must be $1800 or so? But what is the other $3000 for? In general Optus would cancel your plan the month you (or your ex) stopped paying the bills for it. You would owe a cancellation fee (maybe $0-$1000?)
Do you know what plan you were on? How much data could you use? For how long after you got the phone have you been using it with the Optus SIM in? Did you use it overseas?