Optus u-turns on monthly excess-data charge

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, Telcos, Optus, NBN

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  • Typical

    Typical Optus PR ... obfuscation after lie after obfuscation. When are they going to learn how to communicate with customers and the media??!
  • Megabytes go to Gigabytes

    15 cents for every megabyte is $15/gigabyte when serious ISP's charge only around $3/gig for data download useage.

    But worse, Optus' ordinary ADSL2+ service has an "off-peak" data but is immediately withdrawn once you hit your peak data monthly data allowance.

    So, you you pay for say 7gig/month peak + 14gig off-peak but as soon as you use your 7gig peak, the balance of your off-peak is lost.

    That can be quite a lot to lose (up to 10gig)! On top of that, they also count UPLOADS into the data allowance so its fatal for torrent seeding.
  • Very strange

    I work for Optus (in mobile), but this seemed to come out of nowhere. I really don't understand why they'd do this, it just seems like a strange thing to do.

    I feel sorry my colleagues in the Internet departments, they're going to have some tough phone calls to deal with over the coming months.

    For the record I love my job, and I genuinely enjoy working for Optus. It's been the best employer I've ever had, they treat us like royalty (probably because it takes so long to train us it would be a huge pain to have people leaving all the time).

    I'm an honest guy, I just wish there was another way around this.
  • Welcome Optus to Bigpond

    Welcome Optus users to what we Bigpond users have had to put up with.
    Expensive plans that can change at the ISP whims.
  • caring

    atleast optus are pretending to care about their customer. Bigpond flat out couldnt care less about theirs.
  • Australia is out of touch with the rest of the world

    Why is the Australian market so out of touch with the rest of the world? Almost no one, except Australia, is charging for excess usage. Because there are only a few curriers in Australia, the companies are using monopolistic powers to exploit their customers.
    The world is moving to where broadband is needed in a home 24/7. Phones are changing to IP, even digital picture frames need to be connected all the time to broad band. Australia is falling being the curve because companies like Optus and Telstra are making it prohibitive to take advantages of these new technologies.
  • here here

    Its backwards. What is so prohibitive about Australia that moves carriers to operate like this? Those Fusion plans were marketed under the premise that there were no excess charges. Then a few months later they try and slip them in. Its deceptive.
  • No more ...

    Thats it !! No more Optus for me
  • Buy elsewhere

    What's with all the whinging, buy your services elsewhere, use neither Optus or Big Pond, problem solved simply. Oops cant do that because I was locked into some "Bundling" I did not bother to understand.

    Loosing customers always makes someone sit up an take notice, regardless of how big they are.
  • bagging one of your sponsors...

    I just wanted to point out that I find it a little funny that ZD net are running "optus negative" stories while happily accepting compensation from said company if you click on the Ad links at the bottom of this page!
    Nice-one ZD net.......BTW I have dealt with both Optus and Telstra and would not reccommend thier products to my worst enemy.
  • Optus

    There are levels of intelligence, but there are no limits when it comes to stupidity
  • Old News

    Read the Whirlpool forums


    A cable user could reach $300 in excess fees in just 30 minutes once they had exceeded their 2GB quota. An Optus spokesperson claimed less than a week ago to ZDNet News that printed flyers explaining the new excess fees were erroneous.
  • funny?

    I would be worried if they only wrote positive stories about their advertisers.

    keep it up zd
  • Bigpond user

    So why are you a Bigpond user if you know they are ripping you off? I really can't understand why anyone still uses Bigpond?? I spent three months with them as it was the only way I could get dsl connected after three years of obstruction - talk about amoral business practices! I was happy to pay a penalty to move ISP.
    BTW my current ISP actually gave me a reduced monthly rate (after six months) for my unlimited service, as my access rate is limited to 512M by the condition of my copper pair. That's called service which neither Telstra nor Optus have a clue about.
  • a little thought goes a long way

    Think about the distribution - the longer & harder it is to get something somewhere, the more expensive it is.

    The majority of content is located in the US and needs a big, fat (expensive) pipe to deliver it all the way here. US/UK/Europe can afford to absorb data costs due to their scale and proximity to the data centres. Australia has neither. NZ has the same problem and (surprise!) they also have data based plans charging excess usage.
  • this is unaustralian

    Blood outrage!! who is in for a protest at town hall?
  • Bigpond & Optus suck anyway

    Guess what, I lived six months in Germany, had a humble 2MBps ADSL2+ connection.... and I could stream and watch Divx like a dream. (and that was the cheapest flatrate plan I could've bought)

    I get back to Melbourne, get Telstra Cable (8MBps) and it stalls and takes forever. oh, not to mention that It costs a lot more.

    AND they have the impunity to charge usage!

    Welcome to the same boat Optus users.
  • not entirely true

    That's not entirely true. Internet traffic to the US is routed through Singtel in Singapore, so hence we only needed to build a backbone to Singapore. THe main issue is the price to lay cables within Australia. Remember, the US's population is about 20x larger, hence more telecommunications customers.
  • Too damm right this is an outrage!

    Too damm <b>right</b> this is an outrage!
    <a href=google.com>link</a> !
  • Australia is going backwards with its internet services

    Australia should be leading the world.
    But its going backwards with its internet services. In the service we are getting and what
    we are paying for.

    Other contries which are les advance then Australia is speeding ahead with its internet services and here is us going backwards.

    Optus and telstra cant you see we are the laughing stock of the world in this area not to memtion.What a bad name you are giving yourselves .
    Where is the goverment to step in and tell them to pull their sock up.

    Telstra and Optus are a disgrace to our country.