Optus u-turns on monthly excess-data charge

Summary:Singtel-owned Optus has introduced excess download charges on its home and broadband "Fusion" bundles, less than a week after telling ZDNet Australia that it had no plans to do so.

Singtel-owned Optus has introduced excess download charges on its home and broadband "Fusion" bundles, less than a week after telling ZDNet Australia that it had no plans to do so.

The new charges, appearing on brochures since the beginning of December, will see new Optus customers charged AU$0.15 (15 cents) for every megabyte over their monthly data allowance.

The carrier will charge this fee up to 2GB above the limit, after which connection speeds are limited to 64kbps.

Customers could subsequently be charged up to AU$300 a month extra on their bill.

Last week, an Optus spokesperson had flatly denied that the carrier planned to introduce excess charges, saying that the flyer distributed to Optus outlets which foreshadowed the announcement was "erroneous".

The so-called "erroneous" flyer was available online from the Optus Web site, but was pulled offline within 12 hours of ZDNet Australia reporting its existence.

Optus advertising brochure previously online at their site.

Before being taken offline by Optus, ZDNet Australia saved a copy of the offending document, (screenshot above). Click on the image for a close-up view of the offending passage. This document is dated 14 September, 2007, indicating that the changes have been under consideration for some time.

Optus claims it did not "lie" about the introduction of excess charges, as it had made a disclaimer that there were "no current excess download charges on Optus Fusion plans," at the time.

Topics: Broadband, CXO, Mobility, NBN, Optus, Telcos

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