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Occasional Contributor Ben01
Occasional Contributor

SCAM

Our company has 10 mobiles with Optus. We have just noticed that two of the phones have charges totaling over $300 on them related to two SCAM third party operators. Oxygen 8 and Mia Sphere Live are the two SCAM companies. We have never signed up to any premium SMS service yet their charges appear on our account. In any other case it would be a simply matter of advising the bank and having the charges reversed. NOT WITH OPTUS. They informed me that I, not them, I have to contact these SCAM companies and sort out the charge reversal. I don't think so. I'm sure the Ombudsman would have issue with this along with any other consumer oganisation. Optus MUST reverse all these charges as they are billing me. If you provide a service you must be prepared to Fix the issue if your service is not secure. It has been 5 days and I still have not recieved advise from Optus about my credit. I've dealt with Optus for years now and am perplexed as to their careless attitude. It is not up to me to explain why or how these scam companies effect charges to my Optus account. In any other situation, the person charging must proove the service has been requested and provided. Reverse all these SCAM charges or I will take this further

6 Replies
Crowd Champion caaf
Crowd Champion

Re: SCAM

Agreed, it seems all to simple for this situation. I think it's time all telco's require the account holder to first activate the premium service portion of the account and not have it automatically applied as active..

 

I will add you and anyone/everyone should deactivate premium service on the account so further issue don't sneak in..

Cheers Dave

Note..This is an open and public support forum please refrain from posting private/personal information. 😉
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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: SCAM

Yes its a scam but Optus are legally obligated to pass on the charges. If someone stole your car you wouldn't expect the bank you got a loan from to sort it out for you? That said:

 

This is an area that Optus create a lot of confusion and anger as they don't seem to have a set policy on dealing with it internally. If you ring customer service then half the time you'll be told you need to sort it out the other half Optus will sort it out for you.

 

As far as I can gather Optus must charge you the fees if the scammers say you have signed up for a premium sms. Optus can dispute the charges on your behalf if you request it. In theory the scammers could force the issue but it seems they're happy pocketing fees from people that don't complain, so they don't contest the issue and optus can reverse the fees in your next bill.

 

This is a process and it takes a little time. Its not just Optus giving you a credit. I suggest you set your monthly Premium SMS limit to $0 and request a reversal on all these fees and wait a bit. 

 

In case anyone at Optus is tuning in - yet another angry customer for you, is it worth it?

 

Regards

 

Peter Gillespie

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Occasional Contributor Ben01
Occasional Contributor

Re: SCAM

Peter, thank you for your comment, but I disagree with your analogy of if my car was stolen, should I ask the bank to pay or recover it for me. I have insurance for that. It's a simple process. Optus may have it in the fine print that third parties can place charges on the account, but this is not surely a legal 2017 acceptable practice. Just like when I purchase something from a retail shop that has an issue, I return to the retailer to sort the situation out, not the wholesaler or third party that supplied it. No-one from Optus has contacted me as promised. I have already logged a complaint with the ACCC and will escalate to the Ombudsman shortly if a satisfactory resolution is not forwarded. Yes I'm angry because it is a deceptive practice that Optus appears to be complient with. 

Just imagine if the many businesses we deal with on a daily basis applied charges on their invoices from third parties and expected you to pay them. You must PROVE you signed up knowing what you are signing up for and PROVE you have recieved the service. Why is Optus able to practice this deceptive scheme.

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Honoured Contributor
Honoured Contributor

Re: SCAM

 

In this instance Optus is an intermediatry. Yes it presents and collects the sms fee for others, but it is others who are breaking the law, not Optus. As with many other institutions that can inadvertantly falsely bill you or be used by criminals to do the same, there  is a process for applying for a refund. 

 

As I said, Optus do a very good job at making that process opaque, variable and all round annoying. But its a pretty straight forward process in the end. FWIW the ACCC will log your complaint and that's all. The TIO would contact Optus and request Optus apply to reverse the charges (same as you could do)  and wait 10 days for a response.

 

Good luck

 

Peter Gillespie

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RetiredModerator Shauna
RetiredModerator

Re: SCAM

@Ben01 - Thanks for reaching out to us, I've responded to your other thread here


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Frequent Contributor
Frequent Contributor

Re: SCAM

Contact Optus and ask for the money back. If unsuccessful, mention an on-line complaint to TIO (Ombudsman). If still unsuccessful, contact TIO. The TIO will get the money back. If not and that is rare, keep your reference number and then the complaint will be escalated and costs more than the initial $30.

 

There is an internal industry recommendation to use double verification via opt-in/opt-out, which gets ignored by scammers. Telstra and others are just as bad. I got scammed by ORDANNDU GmbH, a German scammer for $20.20 and noticed it the day after I recharged with $30! I had to mention the magic three letters T I O to get the money back and then left Telstra.

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