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Optus Nobbled By ACCC Over Questionable Pre Paid Deals

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Optus Mobile Pty Limited that will see the telco compensate customers following an investigation into concerns that Optus was providing less data than advertised to consumers.

The investigation found that during 2015 and 2016, Optus opted to reduce some of the data, calls and/or texts inclusions offered with particular a number of prepaid products but failed to inform affected customers of the changes.

In some cases Optus also reduced the benefits that consumers received when they activated or recharged the SIM card provided with the products and failed to ensure that these changes only applied to consumers who purchased the products after the change was introduced.

“Customers who chose an Optus Prepaid plan based on its advertised value, but who activated or recharged their SIM card after Optus changed allowances for calls, text and data, received less than they were promised at the time they purchased the plan,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

“Mobile providers must provide the ‘value’ and benefits they advertise.” Court said, before advising that “businesses must act swiftly to offer consumer redress and meet their obligations under the Australian Consumer Law or face action from the ACCC.”

Following discussions with the ACCC, Optus has agreed to credit affected customers with an amount of data, calls and/or texts equivalent to the amount each consumer missed out on. Affected customers will have their accounts credited where this is possible, or can otherwise claim a refund.

Optus Prepaid customers who may be entitled to a credit should visit the Optus website or the outlet where they bought the prepaid product for more information.

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