Are you on an Optus Mobile contract & want out?

14 08 2009

*edit* this post refers ONLY to a narrow window of opportunity to cancel your Optus Mobile contract without penalty back in August/September 2009, so it’s likely of no value to you now.

are you fed up with Optus (Mobile) & want out, but locked into a 24month contract with massive early cancellation penalty? well here’s your free chance out!

Optus have added clause 5.2A(personal)/5.3(business) to their SFOA – Standard Form Of Agreement – covering most pre- & post-paid mobile customers.  if, like many, you object to it, they have the obligation to allow you to end the contract without “early termination fees”.

you only pay for outstanding calls, and however many months worth of handset repayments you have left (if any – some people choose to pay up-front, or higher monthly without handset fees). for me that’s 12 or 13 months x ~$7 = $84, which is 10% of the early termination fee that would ALSO apply if YOU (or I) were in breach of contract. but in this case, it’s Optus who are.

the change they made (effective 12 August 09) is to block you from calling certain Optus mobile numbers – numbers that happen to be used by cheap international calling services, which is just plain anticompetitive. but the SFOA change is so vaguely worded it could be applied to ANY ph# they choose in future. even if you’ve never used such a service before, they are negatively materially impacting the terms of their contract with you for the remainder period of your contract, and you are at liberty to cancel it without early-cancellation-penalty.

their obligations under the SFOA give you until Friday 4th September to object and cancel (without penalty) before they consider you to have agreed with the new terms.

if you cancel in this way, you’ll probably have the choice to revert to a month-to-month arrangement (as would happen automatically when a contract runs out) and consider your options, or cancel immediately & go elsewhere (probably needs a 1 month notice anyway?).

if you call and eventually convince them to cancel your contract without penalty, i urge you to call again a few days later, or at least a few days before your next billing period begins, and confirm that your account has in fact been marked for contract cancellation without penalty.  Optus use one of the oldest tricks – they say “yes, sir” on the phone, but do nothing at their keyboard.  when your next bill arrives you realise nothing’s been done, you’re still in contract, but now the deadline for objecting to the new terms has passed.  when i called a 2nd time, the CS rep knew nothing of what i was talking about, i was still in-contract with no indication i was cancelling – i had to explain again, be put on hold, then received a confirmation/reference number.

i was told each time that the early-cancellation penalty will still appear on my bill, but i have to call up to have it credited before paying it.  naturally i expect that CS rep to say “sorry sir, you’ve asked to cancel your contract, the early termination penalty applies” and have to explain it all again.  but hopefully that’ll be the final moment of victory.

after swearing i’d never go back to Telstra for anything (other than this barely-used land-line for ADSL), and i may yet go elsewhere, i never thought a Telstra competitor – Optus – could become so unpalateable that they made Telstra look appealing.  things must be getting tight on the Optus books…

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6 responses

24 08 2009
I HATE OPTUS

I Tried this and well Boomboom. Didn’t work. They said no not doing it. Your locked in. Well mind you I did sign up on the 28th July but still I should be able to cancell as it still isn’t enforced. Also Optus are Rude, hard to understand and quite frankly very dissapointing.

I would only try this if you have been locked into the contract for the last few months. Push very hard as they are cocks.

Once your in your sure not getting out alive without a cancellation fee.

RIPPP OFFFF

24 08 2009
techydude

heya I HATE OPTUS,

yeah, they might’ve rejected you because they announced the change on 24th July (by ‘announced’, nothing more than an update on an obscure webpage that almost no new customer is gonna see), you signed up 4 days later. dunno if the new clause would’ve been in your contract at that point, but i’d be curious to know if it is, cuz this change doesn’t officially cut in until 4th September for those already on contract.

if they didn’t give you a copy of the SFOA when you signed up (i got a useless abbreviated version from an Optus World shop when i signed up last August08), then i’d call them and ask for a copy of the SFOA as-at 28th July when you signed up. then you’ll know if you still have a chance out.

i got my bill with $600+ of early cancellation penalty last weekend, so i’m “looking forward” to the call to have that reversed when i call tomorrow…

25 11 2009
shonkyoperators

I totally agree with the sentiment that optus are bloody crap! Sadly, i was also involved in a somewhat similar situation. In my instance, i experienced what i would not regard as anything surprising and i think the best way to describe their practice can be exemplified the following quotes from the initial posts “Optus use one of the oldest tricks – they say “yes, sir” on the phone, but do nothing at their keyboard.”

So, i was 3 months away from completing my 24 months contract obligation. As with anyone who’s about to finish their contract, i was excited about getting a new phone, which i did – it was a classic nokia 6100.

I had gone to 2 separate optus stores to inquire about extending my contract so i could get a new phone. The store attendant at the first store told me i had to pay a “contract EARLY UPGRADE fee” which was was bizarre to me as i had done some 2 years ago under the same circumstances. It might be a unspoke rule whereby they would allow you to get a new phone/extend your 24 month contract in an attempt to please the customer, i reckon the obvious is they just want you to get locked into another 24 month contract instead of going to telstra by saying no.

Thus, to be doubly sure i went to another store and tried the same, except this time i told them i was going to go to telstra (just 100m away) in any case if it were to be rejected, and guess what, after a few calls to their ‘higher ups’, they approved of it and mentioned that they would WAIVE off the “contract EARLY UPGRADE fee”.

BUT what happened? To my dismay, i was charged a “contract EARLY UPGRADE fee” ($200) in the first subsequent bill i received. I had rang them up and explain the situation, which in the first place i shouldn’t even had been considering i was “assured” by optus staff at time of purchase.

And i was given the “yes sir, yes sir, we will treat the amount you paid for the contract early upgrade as credit for following bills”.

Then, the next month’s bill came and i was AGAIN billed, did they forget about the credits or do they really have a policy of saying “yes on phone, but do nothing at the keyboard”

And the worst thing as you all should know by now is trying to get through on the line to an operator, takes bloody ages and as expected they are really inefficient at getting things done.

Please don’t bother to write to them because they don’t and never reply despite stating ” we will try to address your concerns at the fastest possible time” yeah… yeah…

It’s a real shame how optus goes about it’s business practices and even worst there aren’t any competitors that can do better.

Can anyone suggest otherwise?

10 05 2011
OptusAreCrooks

Optus are crooks. They give you a contract for a service which is rendered useless due to the fact that they have crap coverage. They then charge you to leave.

19 05 2011
matt

Optus have a 30day guarantee which im in process of getting out of suppose to be 3business days. One week latr so i told them they have breached and is keeping handset for the inconvenience.

12 06 2011
Bev

I have 3 Optus mobiles and we are in a verified ‘black hole’. Optus are obliged to let you out of your contract if you cannot get service. Only stipulation is we had to send the handsets back.
What I wanted to know is What happened to the payments that we already made on the handsets? as they were unable to provide a service to us at our address?




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