Optus toys with excess charges on broadband plans

Summary:Optus has recalled "erroneous" point-of-sale brochures for its Optus Fusion home phone and broadband bundles, which state that the carrier charges for excess downloads.

Optus has recalled "erroneous" point-of-sale brochures for its Optus Fusion home phone and broadband bundles, which state that the carrier charges for excess downloads.

The Optus Fusion service, which bundles a broadband connection and home phone in what the carrier described as an 'industry first', was widely advertised upon its July 2007 launch as having "no excess download charges".

Recent brochures distributed by the carrier, however, include a mention of excess charges in the fine print.

"If you exceed the standard data usage allowance of your plan, any additional usage will be considered excess usage and will be charged to your account at a rate of $0.15c per megabyte until you reach 2GB of excess usage, after which you will be speed limited to 64kbps until the end of your billing month," the conditions read.

Prior brochures stated that the carrier did not charge for excess downloads, and instead applied speed limiting as soon as a broadband subscriber exceeded their data allowance.

The terms and conditions listed in Optus's "erroneous" brochures would see Optus Fusion subscribers stung with excess data usage fees of up to AU$300 per month.

An Optus spokesperson claims that the point of sale brochure contains "errors" and is "out-of-date".

"There are no current excess download charges on Optus Fusion plans," the spokesperson said. "We do reserve the right, however, to always be reviewing our plans."

The spokesperson refused to comment as to whether excess data charges were planned and postponed, or whether they are planned for the future.

Optus has already come under some criticism for including uploads as well as downloads in its data allowance.

Topics: Broadband, Big Data, NBN, Optus, Telcos

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