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Occasional Contributor Another_Anne
Occasional Contributor

Donate your Data Initiative

I fully applaud the initiative “Donate your Data” that Optus has decided to support, however ai would like to question why Optus does not donate the excessive amount of data that does not rollover onto our accounts the following month if not utilised.

instead this data that has already been paid for by us (Optus clients) that is simply forfeited and absorbed back into Optus to resell to us the next month.

in example of this I can sometimes use between  3 and 13 % of my 200GB data allowance, however each month it is zeroed and I am charged again for another 200GB.

the real question here is why has Optus themselves not been donating this forfeited data already to initiatives such as “The Smith Family” one and helping out the community.

Instead the solution they find is to ask their clients “to do good” and donate 2GB or more to help kids who are not fortunate enough to have access to data to undertake tasks they need to complete.

Optus, you need to take more responsibility and retroactively as well.  I am quiet happy to donate my unused data at the end of each month which can sometimes be up to 180GB - I see more worth in doing that then simply having Optus re-absorb it international their data pool and generate further income therefrom.  

It is time for charity mongers to look to their own pockets and examine their own practices before simply passing the responsibility on to their clients.

of course, almost all of your clients are going to realise the goodwill of their donating their own data and go ahead and do so.

OPTUS own up to your own data absorption at the end of each month, I can’t even begin to think of the amount of unused data which is simply been handed back to you at the end of each statement month, however I know or must be immense.  

Create real conviction and engender real loyalty within your own client base and the greater community and start donating your data (previously our own lost data each month) that is retained and used to create larger profits.

We all signed contracts accepting this “underhanded” system to prosper - Is it not time to be more ethical and morally to make up for this abominable practice.

i hope you find this post shockingly frank, however I can already see by the initiative that you have aligned with that you are sort of getting wind, not of something you have not known for a long time, but one where your ethics and morals regarding your data re-absorption each month is just short of a legal infraction (if it for not that we all signed contracts wherein we simply agreed to this).  I am certain if I had taken the clause out that legalises this practice, I probably would have been refused a service.

i have climbed on a very high horse her with Optus, however their are many others in the industry that are probably guilty of the same or similar practice, however that does not allow you Optus to sit back on your laurels - do something about it and really help “The Smith Family” initiative in a meaningful way.

Thank you for reading my rant - I truly do hope some change will come from it!

12 Replies
Esteemed Contributor
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Well said Anne. 👍

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Well stated Anne. But I would suggest that your comments are underpinned by a false assumption. The unused data that you suggest Optus should be donating themselves doesn't actually exist. They are just numbers in a spreadsheet and in no way represent a physical capability to actually provide that data to customers.

Using made up numbers to explain, Optus' actual network capability might be 4,000 Tb a month. But Optus sell around 20,000 Tb each month. They can do that because its almost statistically certain that amongst all their customers only a total of 4000Tb will be used. Some will only use 10% of their allowance, some 100% and a few will go over (one the reason the data usage fee is set to punishing levels is that Optus can't afford for too many heavy users to blow out their allowance as it stuffs up those numbers). 

So Optus only has 4000Tb to Sell/Give and currently all that is being used by paying customers. This donation program therefor involves a very real cost to Optus and their customers. Again a statistical analysis will have been done on donation amounts. Optus couldn't actually handle everyone donating 20Gb a day to needy people, but statistically the overall amount donated will remain manageable due to most customers not taking up the opportunity or doing so only once.

So the costs to Optus are real, the effort that has gone into setting up the program is real, the benefit to needy individuals is definitely real and the feel good factor for those who take a few seconds a day to give something away they never intend using is real. I don't see why Optus shouldn't be patting itself on the back a little and enjoying a good news story.

Peter Gillespie

Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

All well and good for Optus doing a good deed, but the cynic in me thinks the way they are going about it is to keep the good deed alive in peoples mind as well as potentially trying to lure/keep customers.

If they did it automatically with unused data as Anne Suggested, which would be the simplest and most logical way of doing it, then the good deed would be in to new for a little while before the memory of the deed dies down in the general public. But by giving customers the option to donate then that memory is kept alive indefinitely. Customers now also have a reason to stay/sign up to Optus because that have this donation feature.


@petergdownload wrote:

Using made up numbers to explain, Optus' actual network capability might be 4,000 Tb a month. But Optus sell around 20,000 Tb each month. They can do that because its almost statistically certain that amongst all their customers only a total of 4000Tb will be used. 

Their capability would be in Tb/s  so their statistics would be about peak usage rather than real than monthly volume. 

Some will only use 10% of their allowance, some 100% and a few will go over (one the reason the data usage fee is set to punishing levels is that Optus can't afford for too many heavy users to blow out their allowance as it stuffs up those numbers). 

If the high excess usage fees was mainly about capacity management rather than just gouging the users, then they would give then users an option the disable excess usage altogether, or just provide a trickle of data once the go over the cap, but if they did that then they wouldn't benefit from the $$$ windfall that excess usage generates.


So the costs to Optus are real, the effort that has gone into setting up the program is real, the benefit to needy individuals is definitely real and the feel good factor for those who take a few seconds a day to give something away they never intend using is real. I don't see why Optus shouldn't be patting itself on the back a little and enjoying a good news story.

Sure, but to me, the way they have gone about it, and what the have not done, not to mention the timing coming right on the heals of their ACCC fine, just makes me cynical of their motives.

 

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Occasional Contributor Another_Anne
Occasional Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Well said thank you, especially the part regarding timing!

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Occasional Contributor Another_Anne
Occasional Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Thank you for your reply Peter.  I do not doubt the business sense involved in their operation.

I do think however that absorbing my unused data one month (without any penalty applied from my side or providing some form of compensation for doing so) rather smacks of usage when in the next month I may exceed my usage, Ian offered another 1 GB at huge cost of $10 per GB.  This pricing may be off, however I do remember reading it somewhere - and can remember it because it sounded ridiculous.

So Jan month Optus absorbs the 180GB  of the 200GB I have not utilised, Feb Month Optus me extra 1GB'S at $10 per offering, after I exceed my 200GB.

This sounds like fair business practise, simply because they have been getting away with it for so long?

I had a contract with another company in another country which allowed me to rollover my unused data on a 6 monthly basis, at least allowing me grace that I may utilise more one month than the next and did not want to unnecessary exploit their clients for their usage.

This has gone along way off from the original donation of data for the Smith Family initiative which I still believe is a great way to at least benefit someone else who may be in a position of need.

The questions though still remain regarding improper data charges and the manipulation of the situation to benefit the company at their clients expense.

This needs to be addressed and handled in a manner that is fairer to the paying client of Optus.

 

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Trusted Contributor
Trusted Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Remember, no one is forcing you to sign up to plans you don't agree with.
Is always prepaid plans out there with data roll-over.

Perhaps ask Netflix for a discount as you only watched 3 hours of shows from their streaming service and not the full 28 days worth being 672 hours?

I have no issues if I don't use all my data, it's there if I need it, when I have an excess towards the end of the month I can decide to donate it to others, or stream a Christmas fireplace video in 4k for hours on end.

Did someone on Yes Crowd answer your question?
Please remember to throw a Kudo and/or Accepted Solution their way!
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Occasional Contributor Another_Anne
Occasional Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Well done Paddylee - this business practice will change it time, but no because of any  really worthwhile contribution by yourself unfortunately.

If I take your answer to heart and as the weather is now beginning to get a little warmer, I will locate a live-feed of a glacier slowly melting to use my excess data up!

Maybe setting a timer to donate my excess data every 12 hours to the initiative might have been a better answer.

Acceptance of a practice or action that is not ethical or moral is not a solution - however you are entirely free to ignore this and other inequalities, only later to say you were not responsible, not in a position to change anything or worse - just went along with it because everyone else seemed not to mind either.

I wish you well.

 

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

@Paddylee has spent a lot of time helping fellow customers and commenting on Optus practices (the better and the worse).

You'll get no argument from me that the (unavoidable) $10 for 1Gb usage "fine" is completely unreasonable. This just gets more so as when it was introduced, 1Gb was more like 20% of average total plan size and now its more like 2% of plan size (but still the same $10 wack).

But I do think your suggestion that Optus is somehow being unethical or immoral when it comes to how it prices data is a bit of a reach. The fact is that for every Telco there is a finite pot of data that they can use. And as we have fairly robust competition in the Telco Sector in Oz all Telcos are essentially using that data to the max - in fact they're over subscribing customers which is why we often get congestion. 

Unlike other Telcos (i.e. Telstra) Optus has employed smart maths to aggressively make available much more data at relatively cheaper prices. As mentioned above, they do this by making phantom data available to all, knowing that many will only ever use a fraction of it each month. Any user is free to use their full quota each month but this does not mean that OPtus is capable of providing every customer with their full quota each month.

FWIW things are improving fairly quickly now. Optus now does no leasing plans, month to month plans, totally separate phone, data pooling (a great way to use all your data efficiently) and I suspect its only a matter of time before they finally offer the same unlimited shaping arrangement that Telstra does now and removes the $10 "fines". But all this transparency and customer empowerment does cost money (And Optus prices have risen to match Telstra's recently). 

Peter Gillespie

Occasional Contributor Another_Anne
Occasional Contributor

Re: Donate your Data Initiative

Thanks Peter - your explanations are drafted with a good deal of thoughtful insights into the mechanism and methodology behind the Optus business model.  It is very appreciated.

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