The return of billshock? Optus Ts and Cs $1500 charge for going over your monthly limit

[ Edited ]

I was amazed at this quiet reversal of billing policy. Full credit for Optus finally bringing in a fair $10 charge per Gb if a user goes over their limit - they were one of the first big Telcos to act on this practice. Originally this extension was granted four times before the service was limited. But looking at the current Critical Info for mobile plans (Additional Data) this has been upped to 150 times!


So if your kid gets hold of your phone, your phone get hacked/stolen, Apple Sync goes wrong pr you accidentally download a 4K movie or any other missteps then there is now no safety net. You are on the hook for $1500 before Optus will consider cutting the service?


Customers get annoyed and upset over $10 Hip Fun Premium Charges. How are they going to react when slugged with $100 or $1000's of unwanted charges?


The original billing approach of four automatic 1Gb boosts followed by manual user requested boosts after that was safe, fair and practical IMO. If Optus can't provide end users the ability to cap their mobile data usage they shouldn't be opening customers up to such expensive fees.




Peter Gillespie

Re: The return of billshock? Optus Ts and Cs $1500 charge for going over your monthly limit


My plan that I took up in November 2015 has the 150Gb limit in it - so this is not new.$135_My_Plan_Plus_Promo.pd...


Another plan I have from around early last year is the same.$35_My_Plan_Plus_SIM_Only.pdf

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Re: The return of billshock? Optus Ts and Cs $1500 charge for going over your monthly limit

[ Edited ]

I'm sure I read recently it was four top ups max, but finding a record of that is proving difficult. Most sites only mention the $10 per Gb and say nothing about any limits.


But looking at past critical info summaries you're correct the 150Gb seems to have been in place for at least a year.


Even the 250Mb $5 plan (now defunct) can be automatically bumped to 150Gb


It seems to reflect the change is mobile allowances (wasn't too long ago that 5Gb was an enourmous mobile plan) As I mentioned Optus did a great service changing the old 25c / Mb charge (or $250 per Gb when you went over). And replaced it with a $10 set fee. As detailed in this Age article


But at some point 18 months ago Optus quietly revamped the caps and with mobile 4G speeds widely available and many sources using very large amounts of data customers are left exposed.


That said, my main concern - that customers would be unwittingly up for $1500 - doesn't seem to have eventuated on a large scale. I've only seen one post in the past two months that related to the issue and it was for $150.


I still think its a really poor move to expose all customers to $1500 for a service that they don't want and haven't knowingly signed up for.  Some option to mitigate the charges should be provided, if Optus can cut the data feed at 150Gb over limit then why not at 50Gb or 5Gb?




Peter Gillespie

Re: The return of billshock? Optus Ts and Cs $1500 charge for going over your monthly limit

[ Edited ]

Hey petergdownload - when MyPlan was originally launched, the data limit was capped at 20 top ups which is 20GB. As the way we use our data has changed signiciantly since 2013 and we now have a plan that includes 100GB for only $160 we had to increase the amount people could use if they see fit.

When excess data is registered on the system  the alerts generally come through very quickly and at 50%, 85% and 100% of both the initial amount and the subsequent top ups. I do get where you're coming from, and this is why we have the alerts, MyAccount and the app for people to actively manage their data. 



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Re: The return of billshock? Optus Ts and Cs $1500 charge for going over your monthly limit

[ Edited ]

Hi @Gen_R,


I appreciate the response, but Telcos have been replying on bill shock for over a decade to boost the bottom line. Optus stated this explicitly when they moved to introduce the (IMO very fair) $10=1Gb alternative in 2013. 


New Optus plan Ends Nasty Bill Surprises  (open link in incognitto window)

OPTUS is bracing for a short-term revenue hit after refreshing its brand and announcing new mobile plans to avoid "bill shock". 

But Ms Brady said not charging exorbitant penalties for mobile plan breaches would lead to lower revenues in the short term.

"We have planned for a significant impact on our revenue (that comes from) excess charges," she said.


I would challenge Optus to find a single individual happy to pay $1000's for a single month of double data. But even that's besides the point as Optus could easily provide a manual process of top ups after say an extra 5Gb ($50) has been consumed. Users get both access to extra data and direct control over when it is purchased.


As I said above though, there doesn't seem to have been many times this policy has gone disastiously wrong. Optus have provided many effective and timely ways to monitor the data usage. My main concern is when the system fails, as in the examples I provided above. With the increase in big data sources and the 4G speeds some unlucky customers are going to have massive bills because Optus won't provide a reasonable safety net.




Peter Gillespie

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