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Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

I live in an area where there is no NBN available.  My ADSL service is being switched off next month.  So I went through a great deal of trouble to research my options which narrowed down to Optus 4G Home Internet.  Just to make sure it would work, I checked OPTUS coverage map and then commissioned a formal survey to make sure I would get enough signal.  The surveyors advised to get an external antenna to support OPTUS Huawei modem so I could connect to OPTUS tower 8km from my property with clear line of sight.  

Before ordering antenna, I visited OPTUS shop to check service was available and told yes and that the tower I was trying to connect to should be a good one to connect to.  Then after receiving antenna, I revisited same store and was gobsmacked when I was refused as a new customer.  I was informed that OPTUS was getting too many complaints because its 4G network is too slow in Gippsland.  This conflicting advice in the space of two weeks.

If this is true, why is OPTUS still advertising 4G Home Internet?  This is false advertising if you cannot even supply the service; and worse still because I am now out of pocket by nearly a $1000  ヽ(ಠ_ಠ)ノ for a high quality antenna and survey!!  Seriously unimpressed 😞  Advertising should be taken down if you can't supply service or at least honestly say it's unavailable in Gippsland.  Time to talk to TIO and ACMA.

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Respected Contributor
Respected Contributor

Re: Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

Coverage does not equal capacity.

While you may have coverage, Optus has limited the sale of this service in areas with congestion.
My own home in Brisbane also lists it as not available, but over the years I have had the service.

Optus has its address checker before you get to sign up to a plan, so its not false advertising in that way at all.

They do not have to sell the product to you if they dont want to offer it in particular areas.

Odd that your ADSL is being switched off as that requires NBN to be delivered then ~18 months on top of that.

Did someone on Yes Crowd answer your question?
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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

Understandably annoying but possibly you put the cart before the horse? I'd have just ordered the Optus 4G service and seen what it was like. Fair chance it would be fine (esp. if you're comparing it to ADSL speeds). You can always buy an antenna after that.

What post code are you? The NBN should be available within six months at your address. Telstra / Optus can't disconnect the ADSL service if there is no other service available to you.
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New Contributor
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Re: Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

Hi Peter

The main issue is that I can not even sign up as a new customer despite all the research.  I have been refused outright by OPTUS on the grounds that their service is not working properly.  So therefore, why keep advertising if not viable??  The antenna investment was meant to be an insurance policy for a stable connection.  The tower I was aiming for is less likely to be congested because it is in a rural area not a town.

I originally tried to sign up to NBN as a non standard connection, but was refused by NBN because they said I lived in a black hole area even though their tower is only 2km from my property but unfortunately doesn't have clear enough line of sight.  They have advised I will never have access to NBN because Gippsland is a hilly region (not an unusual thing down the entire Great Dividing Range of eastern and SE Australia). 

This is why I pursued the 4G Home Mobile option because I do have clear line of sight to the OPTUS tower.  We are stuck with this frustratingly obsolete MTM NBN technology which only works for people who live in geographically flat areas or cities.

I tried to escalate issue with OPTUS regional decision makers but was still refused 😞

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

Optus can't advertise every exception. They've covered 99.9% and IMO its a pretty reasonable "generalisation" to make. As PaddyLee mentioned your external efforts are your own choice. All Optus can do is provide a portal and when you use it then you get an answer.

FWIW I'm pretty sure the NBN is obligated to be available to every Australian household. In your case they'd possibly use satellites. If you're getting no luck with Optus then I suggest you have a chat with Aussie Broadband. They may not be able to connect you but should be able to confirm the NBN will be available to you soon.
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Re: Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

Hi Peter, thanks for your thoughts.  The good news is I successfully negotiated partial refund for antenna that was intended for connection to Optus network.

With respect to your comments, it should be noted:

  1. Aussie Broadband were one of the first companies I contacted and they (and other providers) cannot provide me a connection without NBN approval (this applies to any customer).
  2. The connection issue was checked by an NBN engineer.  It was escalated up NBN hierarchy, but post review NBN stated the service can never be provided because of geological barriers.  A request for a non standard connection was refused.
  3. The next option of Satellite NBN originally designed to service remote Australia is now rapidly becoming the default service of large sections of urban, peri-urban and regional Australia to plug the gaps created by NBN's MTM rollout.  It comes with its own set of limitations and not an adequate solution.
  4. NBN will only permit a very limited "peak time" data package for its satellite services of 80MB/month which is totally inadequate for average consumers especially families. 
  5. My current ADSL is 500MB/per month as is the Optus 4G Home package; and both available "anytime".
  6. Because of NBN problems, it makes 4G and 5G an attractive alternative and in some cases a much better solution.  
  7. My original complaint of rejection does not just apply to me but rather OPTUS claims that it is a regional wide impact - so a bit bigger than a one off exception. 
  8. Hence my original question of why would OPTUS Gippsland advertise it 4G mobile broadband service if it is not working properly or unavailable to thousands of customers?  It just wastes everybody's time and in my case money as I believed their advertising to be true

 

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Why advertise 4G Home Internet and then refuse NEW customers?

That is good news. I suppose you're conflating a lot of different issues (Optus 4G availability being just one of them).

Unfortunately we are all at the mercy of the hodge podge NBN (RSPs included) and if they satellite is your only NBN option then that's it. Whether its suits your needs is not adjustable (unless you adjust your needs. I would suggest keep an eye out for Elon Musks low orbit Satelite internet (in testing now) it may appear in Oz in the next 12 months and be much more useful.

I'm not sure I agree Optus has done anything wrong here. They've indicated a tower is in place and for all you know it was available to signup when you enquired. Later on it wasn't. But also there are always clauses by Optus along the lines of "Subject to Availability" etc. The entire Optus NBN is ring barked with claims they don't guarantee any speeds because they can't promise anything.

I think its fair for Optus to say there are towers in place and you have a good chance of getting good reception around them. The sales person should though have directed you to put your address into the Optus website to confirm you could be connected. Perhaps they did or perhaps they did it themselves and it was available when you went in first time?

Anyway, none of that helps you. Good luck with sourcing better data.
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