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Hardship

AndyJ71

So I am just floored at the lack of help with this mob. 

I had 4 contracts for myself and three children, which I could comfortable pay, and always had for a number of years. Then I fell on to hard times due to a relationship breakdown and couldnt afford the plans any more. After chatting online to someone, was advised that my best bet was to cancel the plans and enter an agreement to pay off what was owing. I had only taken out a new Iphone X about 3 months prior so knew the bill would be extensive but was happy to work it out. Was directed to an online Optus Hardship form which I filled out. No contact. Tried chat and they said to wait for the final bill to go to collections. Did that. Then collections contacted me, added a couple of hundred dollars in fees and I replied with my details. No response. They contacted me again four weeks later, added another $400 in fees and again failed to respond to my emails EVEN THOUGH they emailed me acknowledgemetn of my email and advised me that i would be contacted. Eventually I got fed up with waiting for them to contact me that i contacted the Ombudsman. Surprise surprise, Optus contacted me a couple of days after receiving the notification from Ombudsman.

So I communicate to someone who askes for my situation and details, which I give, including outline of income and expenses. My expenses, NOT INCLUDING FOOD, are about a hundred dollars more than I make. With rent, car, fuel, child support and other bills, I dont make enough to eat. Some of my bills are in arrears while others are on plans.

Today, OPTUS tells me that my situation doesnt set off any of their hardship triggers!! I have never disputed my final bill and tried my best to contact them, have kept emails that they have sent to me as well as my responses. My expenses outweigh my income, bills are behind and Im getting a lot skinnier, but to Optus, that doesn't qualify for hardship. And instead of working with me to fix this issue, they have ignored me for almost six months and have added hundreds of dollars in fees.

Any ideas?

 

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Re: Hardship

petergdownload

Hi,

 

Sorry too hear of the difficulties. Main thing IMO is too keep on top of these sorts of issues (as you're trying too) as they can balloon out badly if left unattended. So if Optus don't contact you then you have to keep trying to contact them. Worst case start writing letters - these are legal documents and a good trail of what has been discussed, offered and agreed. Optus take them more seriously.

 

Customer Relations Group
PO Box 306
SALISBURY SOUTH
SA 5106

 

One thing I would suggest is sell the iPhoneX. Assuming its in good condition you should get $1000-$1200 for it. If you want to stay with Apple then a used i7 32Gb would be about $400? Get a prepaid 180+ day plan so at least you've got some data and a phone. I take it the phones are not on lease and have to be returned?

 

The hardship department decision sounds weird. At the very least Optus should be able to set up a fixed low amount repayment plan. Family Breakdown is one of the main areas Optus list as a "trigger" for it. I'd try contact Optus again but if its not working then another complaint to the TIO might be needed to get the ball rolling again.

 

Good Luck

 

Peter Gillespie

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