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Occasional Contributor
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Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Hi crew. Just wondering if anyone can tell me if Optus have or consider any special circumstances for exiting a phone contract without having to pay out the handset? Ive recently come out of a pretty bad domestic violence situation. A week after i upgraded my phone & plan last November, my ex husband let himself into the house at 12am, abused me, stole my phone & ran to his car. Long story short, after trying to retrieve my phone.. he hit me with his car & smashed my phone to smitherines. The phone repair guy laughed when he saw it & said its now a $1300 paper weight. My ex was charged on 6 counts for the assult & destroying my phone. I have all the police paperwork including the verification of phone destruction & the value of said actions. I cant afford a new phone, im now a single parent to 2 toddlers without my ex husbands income to help anymore. My loaner phone is cracked & outdated, yet im still paying for my annihilated S9+. Do optus take any of that sort of thing into consideration, & would possibly waive the remaining handset charge so i can get a new plan & a new phone? Financially, i just cant afford to pay it out but i desperately need a new phone. Any help you guys can offer is much appreciated guys. Cheers 🙂

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Honoured Contributor
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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Hi Holz,

 

Sounds terrible. I'm glad the situation has at least stablized. Optus do have a hardship provision and they have a broad range of options to help out. Start here.

 

That said, they're probably unlikely to waive the handset costs. More likely to waive any exit penalty for the plan you are on and more likely again to pause or reduce monthly payments. You could also discus perhaps dropping down a data tier on your current plan to reduce the cost. Anyway see what they say - I'd be interested to here if you come to an agreement you can work with.

 

As an alternative you can also buy a cheap android touch phone for $50 at Woolworths etc. Place your current SIM into it and use that until you pay off the existing contract as you have been. But hopefully Optus come to a better arrangement - consider moving to a prepaid plan as a better way to manage the costs)

 

How far into the contract are you? Is it a lease loan? 

 

Peter Gillespie

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Occasional Contributor
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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Ive already read through the hardship policy, none of the points will really help me in my situation. Extensions etc only put you further behind & i can afford the plan im on. I never get crazy with phone plans & stick to the lower 2 tiers of available plans as i dont need anything more extravagant & like to stick to a budget. Its just frustrating to be paying off a demolished phone that i got to use for a bloody week. Im half way through my plan & have a $755 buy out fee for the handset. Theres no contract cancellation fee. I just hoped Optus might have some policy in place for people like me & perhaps waive certain fees given the unfortunate circumstances. I knew it was too good to be true, lol. I just thought there might be a slim chance 

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Honoured Contributor
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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

So it is a lease plan or not? If its a leased plan you're still up for the cost of the phone unfortunately. On a brighter note Optus just discontinued leasing plans and now it appears the max cost of returning a broken phone is $499 at the 12 month mark. Read here.

 

If its not leased then a good conditioned refurbished S9+  costs $590 on eBay. That might be your best option if you can swallow the upfront fee as you just run out the Optus SIM plan fees.

 

FWIW most of the hardship options only cost Optus future profit. If they swallow the handset fee then essentially they're taking the loss. They might still be ammenable to something closer to what you want if you talk to them.

 

Good Luck

 

Peter Gillespie

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Online Community Manager
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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Hi Holz,


That is a sad story. You sound very brave. I hope everything is okay otherwise.


Peter's response is the way to go, I understand you've read through it but I'd point out those are just some solutions the team may offer, I'm sure they would explore other possibilities.


I'm sure you would have mentioned it but just double checking there is no mobile insurance attached to the damaged phone?


If you do speak to the Hardship team and are not satisfied with the outcome, please let me/us know and we'll try to help via another way 🙂 


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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Yeah, as i explained i just dont have $500 odd dollars to buy a new phone on ebay. If i had that kind of spare money id wait a few months & just pay out the handset fee. Me & my 1 & 3 year old girls literally had to flee first thing in the morning from the country town we'd been living in (my ex's home town) back to the other side of Melbourne to stay with my parents for 7 weeks til i secured a new house for us. I now alone pay rent, utilities, phone, internet, groceries, car payment AND the rest... on a very meager income. Its a juggling act which can be extremely tough some weeks. Especially when i just got slogged with a $740 electricity bill 😖 The girls always have what they need, & bills/rent are paid.. but that leaves very little. I dont have my ex husbands well paid income anymore, so a spare $500 is not going to happen any time soon. I understand Optus cant swallow the cost of every broken phone, cos thats insane. I just hoped there might be a special circumstances clause for people in my situation. Especially given i have all the police documentation of the phone being stolen & destroyed by my ex. Im not looking for a handout, to be honest even asking my initial question here was embarrassing for me. Im a proud person & dont like asking for help. Im just stuck in the "paying for an annihilated phone" loop & hoped there might be a resolution that didnt include me having to pay out the handset fee. I dont know if i was on a lease.. i dont think so as theres no cancellation fee on my contract 

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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

It's shattering. You sound like you are picking up the pieces and having the "girls" is probably the best motivation for doing what you need to do. 

 

As a suggestion check the name on any bills. If they are in your ex husband's name then no need to pay them. 

 

At this stage do try work out your financial situation (e.g contact Optus and find out if it is a lease as that is an important distinction financially) There are also free financial services that can possibly provide options like ndh

 

At this stage I'd suggest you just grab a $50 phone at the supermarket that will do everything a s9+ can and focus on other areas.

 

Peter Gillespie 

 

PS I would also get a free credit score. It might highlight any issues your ex husband might have created. Note there are lots of 'paid services' for this but its actually free.

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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Is this honestly Optus handles Domestic Violence situations? I hope this was escalated urgently. A victim has to tell her story to a 'crowd' so that anyone and everyone can weigh in with an answer that IS NOT useful, NOT acceptable NOR IS IT within the law or communications alliance guidelines. The reason I write this is because I had my internet and home phone cut off last night without warning and spent 3 hours trying to get it back on. It is still not back on, I did not feel safe then and I DO NOT feel safe now. I am cut off from my lifeline, to my safety network and Law Edorcement which is the police emergency response. I am stuck. I cannot pay, cannot have it restored nor can I replace the service. But Optus definitely can contact my ex partner who is the account holder and is in dangerous violent control. Awesome, Optus you do that thank you. I am the owner of the property where the service is installed and yep, he knows the address. Well done and thank you very much,. If someone in the crowd has a useful resolution I am all ears. I need my service. I need it now. I am not the account holder. My parnter ensured my name was removed from all utitilites without my knowledge. There is DV before the courts. That is all there is to it. I dont care about how or why. I want it back on asap or cut it off completely so that I an have another provider connect it for me. And yes this applies to all of my utility services. There is not a hardship issue so I don't want to hear it. Just my essential services. Optus is only responding to critical enquiries, I consider this to be on the scale of "perhaps important" but it seems nothing is important to Optus after they reel you in with misleading advertising. I did not choose this situation or my having anything to do with Optus. But I can choose what I do about this. 

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Re: Are special circumstances considered considered for exiting a phone plan? Plz help guys :(

Optus can't do very much via a public forum. There was good advice and sympathy provided and the person was encouraged to contact the best point possible. The situation you are in is difficult and there are many legal responsibilities Optus needs to juggle hear. Stating you are a victim of domestic violence doesn't make those disappear.

A few points on what you've said. First up it seems that you do have access to the internet now? So that's a good thing. Also any mobile phone that has power can contact 000 at any time, so you are not cut off from emergency services. If you are still living in the house that you and your ex partner lived in then obviously he knows where you are. If the accounts are all in his name then Optus won't even acknowledge the account to you, privacy laws forbid it.

As mentioned previously Optus hardship provisions cover a wide range of lift events and staff have a wide range of options and power. Domestic Violence is high on the list. If you should contact them. Presumably you have also started to look into the services set up to help you through dealing with the practical and emotional issues that you are now experiencing. If not start here: https://familyviolencelaw.gov.au/