Yesterday I received message at 6.30 pm to say I had used 51gb of my 60gb allowance. My cycle starts on the 19/01. It was the 18/01. I had 5.5 hours left of my month. At 11.08 pm I received message to say another 1gb had been added to my account! Really?i had less than an hour to go? Now I have had to pay 10? I don’t think this is fair trading by Optus? Very disappointed!
Its not fair trading but it is the deal you signed up for. Optus provide no way to avoid auto top up fees at any point of the month. They also provide no way to limit the number of auto top ups so customers are potentially on the hook for $1000's of unwanted data.
Tesltra has recently introduced a 'sleep easy' speed limit on plans which is a much more reasonable approach to excess data IMO. Those wanting more data can always buy some with a click of the app. Seems fair and reasonable to me.
The extra data expires as the month does. Sorry. Optus has probably made a few hundred thousand dollars topping up phones at around 11:59pm only to cancel it one minute later as the customers plan renews. Would be a touch nicer if they at least let you keep that 1Gb (considering they charged $10 for what they normally sell for around 50c)
As for the sudden surge in usage, Optus only update data within a 48 hour time frame. Usually its within about 30 minutes but its sort of a 'best efforts' approach. The data you got slammed with might have been used any time in the previous two days but just not updated to you yet.
For my part the combination of these two factors (unlimited auto top ups and potentially very delayed usage updates) makes the current Optus approach to excess data unconcionable. Until they can fix one or the other the policy should not be allowed given its essentially a lottery whether you exceed your data or not in any given month.
If you own an Android set up the excellent monthly local data limits and warnings. You can control the amounts you use. If its an iPhone then you can manually reset the usage counter each month but you will need to keep an eye on it yourself.
Better luck next month
I'm sure it will be. However this is a management decision and has been in place for decades at Optus. There's no end of angry customers who have complained about unwanted top ups and many who have ended up owing $100's for a few Gb through no fault of their own. Since Optus directly profit from the situation its really a choice between looking after the customer or the bottom line.
Perhaps the ACCC will step in like they did for the Premium SMS scam. Or perhaps the fact that other Telcos (like Telstra) are stopping the practice will see Optus finally decide the comercial gain is no longer worth it. Unfortunately it won't be because of feedback.
But its a known pitfall (once you fall into the pit) so monitor your data locally if you can and try not to get within 10% of the plans total monthly data before the rollover date.