Watchdog investigates: prepaid credit Optus - use it or lose it

By AdNews | 9 June 2015

As featured in AdNews magazine, Watchdog is that mighty defender of consumers against BS marketing and advertising claims. Here's what Watchdog has been up to this week...

Watchdog: Hi I’ve been using Optus prepaid for a while now, but I have a few questions. I rarely use up all the credit, and so the credit I’ve paid for expires at the end of the month. But since I’ve already paid for those minutes – why don’t I just keep the credit I’ve paid for. Does the credit on every plan expire at the end of 28 days?

Optus: Not every plan. So you’re on the Optus Prepaid Social 4G plan. For this to keep the credit, you need to top up before the end of the 28 days. So if you top up $30 it will only roll over the real money to the next month if you recharge the
account on or before the due date. It will only roll over if you do that, and it will only roll over the real money credit.

Watchdog: So if I top up before it expires I get to keep it? But do any of the minutes I’ve paid for roll over?

Optus: No it’s just the real money credit.

Watchdog: So if I have $20 left, that will roll over, but not the minutes.

Optus: That’s correct.

Watchdog: So why is that if I’ve paid for the minutes?

Optus: Because on the minutes there is a due date – and it’s only good for 28 days. If you recharge and have remaining or unused minutes it will not roll over.

Watchdog: Are there any Optus tariffs that if I pay for an allowance of minutes it will roll over, or does every single tariff mean it expires after 28 days?

Optus: All the plans we have have the same process. Minutes will expire on the due date and not roll over to the next month.

Watchdog: It just doesn’t seem fair that if I’ve paid for something, just because I don’t use it in a certain time frame that I lose it. Do you know if any of the other networks do it?

Optus: Here at Optus we don’t have that, only the credit rolls over. I don’t know about the others but from my experience, most of the networks here have the same process. Only the money will roll over, not the minutes.

THE FINAL RECKONING

The customer service department is clearly offshore, and it did feel a little like the person on the end of the phone was reading from a script to deal with the questions, but he did explain to me what happens with credit and unused allowance.
So if you don’t use it, you lose it. That still seems like an an unfair deal. But, that’s the deal.

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