Yes it is BS, but also pretty lucrative BS. It's illegal for premium SMS services to charge you without a second explicit opt in confirmation. But it not illegal for Optus to just accept a premium SMS services word that they have got that confirmation. That Optus makes money from not bothering to check is apparently not relevant.
All I can suggest is try another service agent. Even after Optus has finally blocked most of these scanners many staff still seem to want to perpetuate the process. Perhaps a mod @Dan_C can help reverse the charge
Thanks for the response Peter. I will be contacting another service agent to see whether they can help. In the mean time if @Dan_C can help that would be greatly appreciated.
Since smartphones became mainstream I've never experienced this....didn't even think it was possible until tonight. Optus you really need to look into this before this thread blows out of hand and there's another Telstra outcome...
Hey @bakapoko, sorry about your experience via Live Chat before. That is strange as we can definitely dispute the charge with the third party to contact you back for a refund.
Premium Content charges come through from the third party to apply on your service providers bill in your case Optus. As such it is not Optus charging you directly. Services like these sometimes subscribe you through banners and advertising on your mobile. This can occur in apps or through your web browser. Unfortunately, you may have inadvertently accepted the subscription this way. Check out this → article for more info.
If you still need assistance then please PM us → here your phone number / account number, full name and date of birth to proceed.
Forum Whirlpool tells me these scams have been going on for the last ten years, they fall under the heading of SPAM SMS Scams. The telcos are willing participants in these scams as they charge a commission for every unauthorised opt-in. For the telco to say, contact the scammer as we just pass on the bill has never worked to get a refund.
I clicked on a quiz and a German scammer (ORDANNDU GmbH) charged me $20.20 via Telstra, this is why I joined Optus. By ringing Telstra's Manila HQ on 132200 and uttering the magic three letters "TIO" (Telecom. Industry Ombudsman) I got my money back. Telstra has stopped the scam since December 2017 and is now offering victims the money back, but it looks like Optus is still at it.
An on-line complaint to the TIO gets the money back if all else fails, but the TIO is being flooded with NBN complaints to such an extent, that the gov. may enact legislation to only allow "major complaints", whatever that means, so minor complaints may be ignored in future.
Contact Telecom. Industry Ombudsman on-line with complaint to get your money back. This will cost the telco $30 and you will get your money back. Do it soon as the TIO is being flooded with NBN complaints and they will soon legislate a public-service-work-minimization-scheme to only allow "major complaints".
When I find the time I will contact Slater & Gordon and Maurice Blackburn and suggest a class action as there should be a lot of money in for them. This will also sweep up all the Telstra and other telco customers, who are unaware of the compensation offer by Telstra.
Cheers for the info Dom. I will see what Optus do to fix this first. If that fails then I will try TIO. Absolutely ridiculous and shouldn't even happen to begin with..
"Unfortunately, you may have inadvertently accepted the subscription this way."
I understand this is a tricky area for Optus customer service people to navigate but its not legally possible to inadvertently accept a contractual obligation this way. What your suggesting is akin to to withdrawing $50 bucks from an ATM and then finding you had inadvertently signed up for a credit card with annual fee. I'm sure the banks would love that!
Most businesses understand this innately. AFAIK the Premium SMS industry is almost unique in spelling out this fundamental legal basis of any contract. That the governing code of conduct explicitly sets out the fact that an informed double opt in process must be followed before charging. i.e. after the inadvertent click a further communication must be sent to the potential customer (format defined) that details all costs etc. The user must then send a completely unambiguous response before the charges can proceed.
Unfortunately, technically this requirement is the responsibility of the Premium SMS provider which give Optus the self serving (and revenue raising) ability to talk about inadvertant accidental subscriptions as if that is a real thing. Telstra also tried to suggest that the corporate equivelent of buying a new TV for $50 from a stranger in the pub car park could definitely be a legitimate purchase. The ACCC finally pointed out that such behaviour was morally reprehensible.
I'm glad that Optus have now officially started to act on this long standing issue but its disappointing to feel that what should be a simple directive: If a customer asks about an unwanted Premium SMS charge on their bill, refute and refund it. Is still not understood throughout the organisation.