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Occasional Contributor lindyjanice
Occasional Contributor

Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

Optus advertises, in many of its phone plans, including the one I'm subscribed to, you can watch ABC iView for "free", that is, it doesn't count towards your data usage.

Brill I thought. However, a month in, I notice that my ABC viewing does use up data.

Checked with Optus ... they don't tell you this upfront, a bit sneaky on their part, but did you know:

If you have such a plan, apparently if you watch ABC iView (or anything else with "free" data) on your actual phone, it does not use up your data.

HOWEVER, if you use your phone as a hotspot and instead watch it on an iPad, tablet, Apple TV, computer, i.e. anything via your hotspot, then you ARE charged for the data.

Optus should be upfront in giving information about this.

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18 Replies
Crowd Champion caaf
Crowd Champion

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

So are you saying your title is misleading and a false statement ? As you have stated... If you was to watch iview on your iPhone it would be free/not count towards your data allowance. I’m sure it’s all laid out in the PDS for that plan. I suspect all telcos would operate this way. I must be one of the few that reads what plans include.

Cheers Dave

Note..This is an open and public support forum please refrain from posting private/personal information. Smiley Wink
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I’m a Yes Crowd Champion (not an Optus employee). I share my knowledge on Yes Crowd on a voluntary basis. If I answered your question, please mark it as a Accepted Solution. If I helped you out, hit that Kudos button Smiley Happy
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Respected Contributor
Respected Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

Have to agree with you caaf. You've all but said Optus are deceptive in their marketing. They are marketing a mobile phone, with a mobile plan with inclusions for said mobile phone/plan. The information is available if you want do look for it, it's hardly hidden IMO

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I do not represent Optus. The views, opinions and advice expressed in my posts are my own
Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

In this day and age of casting and mirroring I don't think its unreasonable for the average mug to assume free streaming is included under the umbrealla of the offer. Also if a customer doesn't realise this, there is enourmous potential for high usage data costs to be inadvertantly incurred. IMO both these factors should mean Optus puts a big asterix next door to the word FREE *.

 

That said I do think Optus do an almost  adequate job of providing the information. No one reads the PDS obviously but the CIS sheet would be a good place to put this information (and I don't think Optus does mention it in the CIS though). Secondary pages for example on this page do state (in a hidden area right at the bottom and typing that reminds me of the planning permits to demolish Earth a bit Smiley Happy) that:

 

Offline video downloads, mobile & mobile broadband WiFi hotspots, streaming on TVs (such as Chromecast & Apple TV and the like), associated traffic other such as ads, authentication, app analytics and Digital Rights Management are excluded and will incur data charges.

  

I think Optus could highlight the information a bit more front and centre.

 

Peter Gillespie

Occasional Contributor lindyjanice
Occasional Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

Thanks Peter. The Optus information is accurate, as far as it goes, but the said pdf doesn't explain that hotspots are excluded.

I'm sure there are plenty of users like me who regularly use hotspot and wouldn't even think to ask if it is excluded until usage shows up in data or excess charges.

New Contributor DBPZ
New Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

It happened to me too, and, iView data use was charged toward my monthly allowance even I watched the ABC News Live on my very own phone (Huawei, mate 10) in the iView app. Today is the first day of my billing period, I used ~200MB of data otherwise, and used ~230MB data on iView to watch the news live for like 30 minutes. If the iView data is not metered by Optus, I should have seen difference between MyOptus app's data meter and my phone's own data meter (which has no idea about the special data deal for iView). However, both gave me exactly the same data use: 433MB. Namely, every MB of data in/out my phone was charged toward my allowance.

 

My plan is "$55 My Promo Plus 12M SIM", which started in April, 2019. The "Mobile TV Streaming" add-on has been enabled since then. ABC iView is included in "Mobile TV Streaming", so it shouldn't be counted toward my monthly data use.

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Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

It may have happened. Its possible the data got mis-read or something.

 

To be clear, are you looking at the headline "Total Data Used This Month" figure or the daily summary?

 

What does the Optus app say was the apps that used the data? There should be a break down of that too.

 

What does your phone settings say used the data?

 

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor DBPZ
New Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

Thanks for the reply!

 

(1) I looked at the "Daily Use" in MyOptus app to have the data allowance charged today. (433MB)

(2) I looked at the "Data usage" in my phone's setting utility to have the amount of data sent/received on my phone today. (433MB)

(3) The "Categories" page in MyOptus app says that most of the data (64.4%) was spent on "Browsing". The second largest category is "Other usage" (17.0%).

(4) My phone can list the amount of data used by each app; "ABC iview" used 277MB of data since 12am today. The other apps used like 150MB in total during the same period. Given that 277/433=64.0%, it is very likely that the ABC iView data was counted as "Browsing" in MyOptus app.

 

Cheers,

Yang

 

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Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

There's your answer then.

 

The Daily use screen on the app shows ALL data used (cause you used it). However some of it won't count towards your total monthly balance (the big number on the front page of the app) and so won't be charged.

 

So seems all is working as it should.

 

Peter Gillespie

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New Contributor DBPZ
New Contributor

Re: Watching ABC iView for "free" on iPhone is not so free after all

"the big number on the front page of the app" is always well synchronized with the numbers in the subcategories. There is no inconsistency between all the numbers in the MyOptus app. 

 

Now I'm doing more tests to see if the data meter on my phone is always equal to the data meter in the MyOptus app. I will watch ABC News Live everyday (bless me) and see if in the end of the billing month the two numbers are still the same. 

 

If so, I'll lodge a formal report to draw attention of the technical team.

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