So today was D-Day and Optus has been fined $10 million for essentially fleecing its customers over a four year period.
There are a few things to note about this event:
1) $10 million is the largest allowed fine. The ACCC would have preferred to apply much more (it can now but not for past wrongs)
2) One reason why more would be wanted is that Optus single handedly made $66 million from this. So its not much discouragement to only be able to walk away with a cool $56 million in money customers never wanted or expected to pay for a imaginary "service" optus facilitated.
3) 600,000 complaints.
4) 600,000 complaints! and Optus response at the end of the day? "Optus also admits that some customers inadvertently bought digital content"
5) The average haul per customer affected was around $40.
6) And just as the scam was based on small amounts that either went unnoticed or if noticed they weren't worth the fight to try get a lawful refund, Optus has somewhat duplicity set up a refunds mechanism that pretty much uses the same avoidance techniques (few know of it and those that do make contact will be asked to jump through more hoops than it is worth to get access to the amounts.)
Not a great look Optus and I would remind management that other (on going) policies that willfully expose customers to unwanted charges through no fault of their own may soon be looked at under the umbrella of the new $100 million fines regime.
Hmm 600,000 inquiries and they still did nothing! Good grief the whole upper management must be that morally corrupt I can’t imagine what shady schemes they will come up with next. Maybe something like super fast 5G coupled with a data useless meter that tells you 2 days later that you need to sell you house to pay the excess data fees. Actually, I think they have been doing that for many years with 4G.