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Optus Refunds $800K After Charging For Non-Existent Landlines

Optus has been instructed to refund close to $800,000 after a breach that saw the telco charge 994 small and medium-sized businesses for landlines that didn’t exist.

The refund came only after The Australian Communications and Media Authority found Optus billed these businesses after they had left the telco’s services.

The breaches occurred over a ten-year period, beginning in February 2011, and only ending this March.

“Optus advised that the issue occurred due to incorrect billing end-dates being entered into its system for customers transferring to other telcos,” said ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

‘Errors like these by Optus can have a big impact on small business,” she said.

“Fifteen of these customers were charged more than $10,000, which can be a huge amount for a small business to lose.

“Optus is the second -largest telecommunications company in Australia and should have systems in place to ensure it complies with all relevant regulation.

“It is alarming and unacceptable that such a fundamental flaw went undetected in Optus’s systems for so long.

“We are closely monitoring Optus to ensure it refunds all affected customers and takes action to reduce the risk of future billing errors.”

The ACMA confirmed that Optus has “contacted all affected customers and to date repaid 98 per cent of the charges plus interest.”


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