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Ezkaton

Optus, oh joyous Optus.

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Yo.

Thought I'd make a post here just to see if any of you more knowledgeable lads have a worthwhile opinion on whether I have a leg to stand on here or not.

 

Last night I received some letters (in order of date) from Optus, Australian Receivables Limited, and Forbes Downing Lawyers, then Charter Mercantile Agency, stating I owe Optus $636.05.

I had no idea I had these letters sent to me, as in February 2012 I moved out of my old house in Brunswick to move to another location with my partner.

My old housemate from Brunswick is now moving, and she contacted me yesterday and said I have a stack of mail and brought it to me.

 

Anyway, a bit of back story:

On the first of January, 2012 I contacted Optus regarding cancellation of my Optus account due to poor service, stating to them that I required my phone for work, calls, emails, etc. But the poor service rendered it almost useless due to low reception on 2G when I should have had high 3G reception, being in Brunswick, causing frequent dropouts and very poor call quality. Muffled, cutting out, quiet... and as such, I had moved to Telstra (which has no such issues to this day), and asked if I could have my account closed and due to the poor service, any outstanding fees waived because of the service issue. Hoping Optus would be understanding and nice about it.

 

But you know large companies.

No idea what the word 'nice' or 'understanding' means, all they see are dollar signs floating away into the distance.

 

I received a response from Optus stating that I can't do that and I owe them $448 if I want to cancel my contract, and that I had never called their technical support regarding the service issue.

 

I responded to them letting them know I was technically still in a contract, yes, but I entered such a contract with the assumption I would have an adequate service throughout the length of my contract... which I did not, and that I still wished to discuss even a reduced fee regarding cancellation.

Also that I hadn't contacted them regarding the service issue as I didn't see any swift resolution, and as such, my phone was practically useless for work.

 

My work street seems to be almost a 'black spot' of some sort for Optus.

My workmates using Optus have the same issue that I had to this day.

 

Optus then responded trying to get me to contact their technical support about my issues, completely ignoring the fact that I had already moved to Telstra and already asked to have my account closed.

 

I informed them that I already know the service is bad, I don't require their 'testing' and kind of gave up and told them I'd just pay the cancellation but would have to do it incrementally over time.

 

I was then sent this:

-----------------------

"Hi ______

 

Thanks for your reply.

 

I can confirm that I have referred your enquiry through to our Mobile Retention Group and a member of this team will be in contact shortly to discuss your options.

 

I am sorry to hear of your dissatisfaction with Optus and l hope that we will be able to provide you with a solution.

 

We look forward to speaking with you soon.

 

Kind regards

Rebecca"

-----------------------

Needless to say, I was not contacted at all... and then I was bombarded by Optus, lawyers, and debt collectors notices, etc. at my old residential location, without my knowing.

 

I have been informed by people I know that I should contact the TIO (which I have done via their website this morning), and I also shot off an e-mail to the Charter Mercantile Agency, who are now apparently 'handling' things.

Do I have any leg to stand on here? Or do I just flat-out owe Optus?

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So you signed up for a service, weren't happy with it, jumped ship, and refused help when the original company offered it? Good luck dude!!! Why would they show any flexibility when you won't?

 

 

 

Also too - You can't pay off the out-standing amount for a cancelled account (I've tried to a couple of times - Pretty sure that's standard). Instead, let the debt go to the collection agency, and they will let you pay it off. I had a black mark on my credit history put there by B digital mobile when they transferred the debt to a collection agency - The collection agency wiped off the mark once the out-standing amount wa spaid, and hasn't been an issue since

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I and many of my friends have gotten out of Optus contracts because if poor service with no charge.

 

HOWEVER we had to call them many times, constantly following up things and arguing our point.

 

The fact that you only made one call doesn't work in your favor, even if you received a letter saying that they would contact you they could just claim that they attempted to call and you never answered.

Without any further contact from you they presumed you changed your mind.

 

either way unless your prepared to pay the fines expect to spend hours on the phone sorting it all out.

 

good luck

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Optus' "help" wasn't exactly anything that would have helped regarding my service... but this was all at the start of the year.

Looking back, I see my mistake, but at the time I was so irritated I just wanted out.

 

I'm pretty sure it has gone to the debt collectors, but I've emailed them about it this morning... just waiting on a response.

I don't mind if I do end up having to pay, but I'd prefer some kind of reduction if possible.

 

Either way still waiting on responses from people.

 

My main concern was just if I still have any leg to stand on or if I'm just gonna be required to pay.

Edited by Ezkaton

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Fight it or pay it.

 

IMO the amount that you owe wouldn't be worth the trouble of fighting it unless you have a specific angle you are going to go at them with.

 

Contract's suck, especially when you get shitty service from your net... unfortunately they do have the upper hand in that if you did not seek resolution to your issues but instead cracked it and broke the contract.

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again I say, contact the Ombudsman

I was in a contract with Optus, and merely threatened to contact the Ombudsman, it didn't cost me a cent to break a fairly new contract.

I suggest this from experience/my success.

;)

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Fight it or pay it.

 

IMO the amount that you owe wouldn't be worth the trouble of fighting it unless you have a specific angle you are going to go at them with.

 

Contract's suck, especially when you get shitty service from your net... unfortunately they do have the upper hand in that if you did not seek resolution to your issues but instead cracked it and broke the contract.

Might not be worth it for yourself, but I dunno, I don't exactly earn a great deal of money... so throwing over $600 at Optus for sucking doesn't sit right with me.

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Had an issue like this with a new car dealership once, they couldn't deliver the car and told me I had to wait for one on some boat and they wouldn't give me my deposit back, spent nearly the whole $500 of the deposit on legal fees to get the $500 back...

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So did Optus ever agree to terminating your account and you paying them back in repayments

or

did they ever agree to terminate your account

or

did you port the phone number over to Telstra and just 'forget' about the Optus account

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again I say, contact the Ombudsman

I was in a contract with Optus, and merely threatened to contact the Ombudsman, it didn't cost me a cent to break a fairly new contract.

I suggest this from experience/my success.

;)

 

Call the Ombudsman.

You will be surprised how much the Ombudsman can do for you, call he/she. And then this can all be sorted out within minutes maybe hours but a far shorter time.

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So did Optus ever agree to terminating your account and you paying them back in repayments

or

did they ever agree to terminate your account

or

did you port the phone number over to Telstra and just 'forget' about the Optus account

None of the above, I suppose.

The closest it got was 'you can but then you owe us $xxx', which I didn't see as fair due to the circumstances.

Then I was informed I'd be contacted, which never happened.

 

With Telstra, I just got a new number completely and wanted to shut down my old account with Optus as swiftly as possible, number and all because I know Optus are terrible... especially when it comes to customer service and getting things done.

 

Literally nobody I know has ever had a pleasant time with Optus.

 

Anyway I contacted the Ombudsman via their online forms, and I'm awaiting a response.

If they don't reply in the next day or two I'll call them and talk to them about it.

Edited by Ezkaton

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So did Optus ever agree to terminating your account and you paying them back in repayments

or

did they ever agree to terminate your account

or

did you port the phone number over to Telstra and just 'forget' about the Optus account

None of the above, I suppose.

The closest it got was 'you can but then you owe us $xxx', which I didn't see as fair due to the circumstances.

Then I was informed I'd be contacted, which never happened.

 

With Telstra, I just got a new number completely and wanted to shut down my old account with Optus as swiftly as possible, number and all because I know Optus are terrible... especially when it comes to customer service and getting things done.

 

Literally nobody I know has ever had a pleasant time with Optus.

 

Anyway I contacted the Ombudsman via their online forms, and I'm awaiting a response.

If they don't reply in the next day or two I'll call them and talk to them about it.

 

Now that you have contacted the Ombudsman he can only help you so far . The First issue you will need to go back Optus and let their technicians try and resolve the complaint this is standard for the mediation process. If after this process a report will be sent to the Ombudsman about your issue. If then the Ombudsman can see that the problem lies with your coverage he may use his powers to overturn you contract and nullify it. But if the case is you are not making an attempt to co-operate with Optus or try to resolve the issue you may have to pay the Contract out.

Edited by codecreeper

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In my honest opinion, you are quite clearly in the wrong here.

 

To start with...

 

I entered such a contract with the assumption I would have an adequate service throughout the length of my contract...

What you assumed when entering the contract is meaningless. If I assumed that I'd be getting daily blowjobs with my contract, that doesn't give me any legal standing to cancel the contract when I don't.

 

Also that I hadn't contacted them regarding the service issue as I didn't see any swift resolution, and as such, my phone was practically useless for work.

Are you trying to say that you didn't contact them because you didn't see any swift resolution? That seems rather silly for two reasons. One, I suspect that a court would say something along the lines of "who are you to know whether or not there's any swift resolution?!" And two, the fact that there isn't an apparent swift resolution does not obviate you from taking action to rectify the issue.

 

Optus then responded trying to get me to contact their technical support about my issues, completely ignoring the fact that I had already moved to Telstra and already asked to have my account closed.

You didn't even contact their technical support? I recognise that it may be unlikely that they can help, but I'd argue that its still perfectly reasonable of Optus to expect you to contact their technical support before they'll even entertain the idea of waiving your contract.

 

Needless to say, I was not contacted at all... and then I was bombarded by Optus, lawyers, and debt collectors notices, etc. at my old residential location, without my knowing.

You were in a contractual dispute and decided to move without informing the other party? That is not a wise thing to do. It seems like you're using the whole "but I was at a different address!" thing as an argument in your favour, which it certainly isn't (in my eyes).

 

Do I have any leg to stand on here? Or do I just flat-out owe Optus?

I'm of the opinion (regardless of what the law says) that Optus should give you a refund if the service is particularly crappy where you require it. But the way you've gone about it (or, rather, not gone about it) is horrible. You seemed to take a "she'll be right" attitude when you really should've been proactive about it. I'm a bit disappointed that you're taking it to the TIO when you didn't make a reasonable effort to resolve it in the first place. From what I understand they are an great organisation, and I think that they should spend their time helping people that really need it.

 

Rob.

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I recently got out of a vodafone contract for the same reason, service turned to shit when they bought 3, so i called em up and they said move over to vodafone, we have great coverage in your area. Was immediately even worse.

 

I had to call them a bunch of times and deal with the various indian customer support dudes, first i got offered 2 months free, then 3 months free, then 6 months free etc. as apparently they hadn't actually done any upgrades in my area but it was 'coming soon' and I should wait. I had to really argue my way out of it as it was just not usable.. especially after moving from 3 to vodafone networks.

 

After they said their best offer was 6 months free, but refused to cancel my contract. I called the TIO and it was sorted within a few days. An australian from vodafone called me and offered to cancel the service and went over everything and listened to all of my feedback about such poor service from about 5 different indian dudes. One who even suggested I take 3 months free from them, and buy a pre pay sim to use in the mean time. What a joke..

 

Bottom line, you need to fight it, and make it too expensive to be worth their while trying to retain you. You didn't try very hard to get out of it.. It costs the carrier money every time the TIO investigates something, so that is why they get such good results, and gets very expensive if things get escalated (used to deal with TIO complaints at iinet).

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+1 to Robzy, unfortunately.

 

The first thing you need to do to be able to go to the TIO, is to go through Optus help first.

The TIO won't touch it, if the issue of contention is something you haven't given Optus a chance to remedy.

 

You signed up with Telstra, without giving optus a chance to see if it was handset, or other issues that could be fixed. For all you know an optus tech left a can full of coke next to the local transmission tower, which somehow causes a blackout just at your work.

 

In any event, the technical merits aren't what's important. What is important is that you broke your contract without giving optus a chance to remedy the situation, which is in breach of your contract and against the rules of the TIO.

 

Personally, I'd go to the TIO, and tell them you were never contacted or followed up.

Regarding your address, that's entirely your problem mate. If you don't forward mail, and your housemate doesn't forward it to you, and you didn't tell Optus that you'd moved. Well, let's just say there's not a lot they could have done differently to fix the problem.

 

Look at it from this perspective, shit though Optus might be, you didn't give them a fair chance to fix your problem. They probably get thousands of calls from customers who has self diagnosed a problem with optus' network, which may not be a problem with it at all. They shouldn't be forced to cop it on the chin, when they can and do help customers out.

 

With all these things, follow the process, and get out of the contract before you act :/

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I recently got out of a vodafone contract for the same reason, service turned to shit when they bought 3, so i called em up and they said move over to vodafone, we have great coverage in your area. Was immediately even worse.

 

I had to call them a bunch of times and deal with the various indian customer support dudes, first i got offered 2 months free, then 3 months free, then 6 months free etc. as apparently they hadn't actually done any upgrades in my area but it was 'coming soon' and I should wait. I had to really argue my way out of it as it was just not usable.. especially after moving from 3 to vodafone networks.

 

After they said their best offer was 6 months free, but refused to cancel my contract. I called the TIO and it was sorted within a few days. An australian from vodafone called me and offered to cancel the service and went over everything and listened to all of my feedback about such poor service from about 5 different indian dudes. One who even suggested I take 3 months free from them, and buy a pre pay sim to use in the mean time. What a joke..

 

Bottom line, you need to fight it, and make it too expensive to be worth their while trying to retain you. You didn't try very hard to get out of it.. It costs the carrier money every time the TIO investigates something, so that is why they get such good results, and gets very expensive if things get escalated (used to deal with TIO complaints at iinet).

I had the exact same experience with Vodafail.

 

I couldn't get 3G in the CBD, or my home in kensington. Calls dropped out regularly, and so did reception, for no apparent reason.

 

The bright spark at tech support suggested I use 2G instead of 3G, despite the fact I paid for a 3G connection and phone in their contract. I took the 6 months free, then cancelled as soon as it finished as the upgrades to the network that were "coming soon" still hadn't been implemented. only took another call or two to get the contract cancelled, I didn't even need to contact the TIO.

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I can confirm that Optus is a poor company when it comes to referring accounts to collection agencies.

 

I too had an outstanding amount that I was unaware about on a cancelled account. This was years ago though, about the year 2000.

 

Showed up when I went to purchase something using credit about 2 years later; I was denied, and had to screw around to get my credit history and there it was, $400 odd owed to Optus apparently.

 

How they managed to let me cancel the account without informing me of an outstanding amount and why the collection agency was so shit at finding me is anyones guess, but they did seriously screw with me.

 

I think it was because I had phone and cable accounts with them and there was always confusion about that.

 

I was renting and share housing a fair bit at the time, so to some degree that explains why they couldn't find me, but still, I was actually listed in the phonebook. :S

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All good, regardless of whether I am technically in the wrong or not (and as stated previously in the thread, I realize my mistakes now)... the TIO responded to me today and put a hold on the debt collection and forwarded the case to the area at Optus that handles TIO referrals, and they're supposedly going to contact me in between now and the 26th Oct to try and resolve the situation.

 

If they fail to do so, I need to contact the TIO again.

Or if I am not satisfied with the outcome, I need to inform the TIO how Optus responded, and and why I am not satisfied.

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I can confirm that Optus is a poor company when it comes to referring accounts to collection agencies.

 

I too had an outstanding amount that I was unaware about on a cancelled account. This was years ago though, about the year 2000.

 

Showed up when I went to purchase something using credit about 2 years later; I was denied, and had to screw around to get my credit history and there it was, $400 odd owed to Optus apparently.

 

How they managed to let me cancel the account without informing me of an outstanding amount and why the collection agency was so shit at finding me is anyones guess, but they did seriously screw with me.

 

I think it was because I had phone and cable accounts with them and there was always confusion about that.

 

I was renting and share housing a fair bit at the time, so to some degree that explains why they couldn't find me, but still, I was actually listed in the phonebook. :S

Ditto for me here. I had a Business landline with Optus which I cancelled (they were well past the contract end stage) when the business failed. I contacted Optus asking if I should pay the bill which had just arrived, or wait for a total bill and pay it then. The monkey on the phone told me to wait, got my new address details, gave me the total and I waited.

 

And waited.

 

Six months later a debt collection notice arrived at my home address (the same address I gave to Optus) with the bill and a $700 debt collection fee. It turns out the muppet on the phone had not changed my mailing details, and all my mail was still going to the old premises. The new tenants, who had my contact details, had not bothered to call me, and when I confronted them had a shoe box full of mail with my old business details.

 

When I confronted Optus with this information, the answer was pretty much "stiff shit", despite the fact that all the debt collection agency had to do was look up my name in the white pages, and send me a letter. No compassion, despite their stuff up, it was all about the dollars.

 

I then spent the next seven years steering customers away from Optus while working for Dick Smith, and there were hundreds, if not thousands of customers that I was directly responsible for not using Optus. It was a small consolation, but in these instances, you take whatever you can get.

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