If you’re an Optus customer who’s faced recent service outages, here’s what you need to know about your rights and potential next steps:
Compensation Claims: Despite the inconvenience caused by Optus’s outages and data breach, claiming compensation can be complex. Contracts often don’t guarantee uninterrupted service, making it tough to prove a breach. However, if you’ve incurred losses, you’re encouraged to document them and reach out to Optus for a claim.
Ombudsman’s Advice: The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman suggests directly contacting Optus with your grievances. If the response isn’t satisfactory, the ombudsman may assist in resolving the matter, with the power to direct compensation for both financial and non-financial losses.
Contract Cancellation: Want to switch providers? For month-to-month and prepaid customers, it’s simple—just transfer your number or get a new SIM. Those on long-term plans or paying off devices might have a more complex process, typically involving the payout of the contract term.
Legal Action: While taking legal action is a right, proving a lack of “reasonable care” in court may be challenging. The ombudsman’s office can be a helpful intermediary.
Optus’s Response: Optus has responded to the outage by offering perks to its customers:
Postpaid customers: Starting 13 Nov, eligible postpaid customers, including small businesses and consumers, can activate an additional 200GB of data, available until year’s end.
Prepaid customers: Eligible prepaid customers will be able to access unlimited data on weekends until the end of the year.
Calls for Regulation: Consumer advocacy groups are pushing for more robust industry regulation to ensure telcos provide strong consumer protections.
Stay informed about your consumer rights and consider your options if you’ve been impacted by the service disruptions.
Stay smart, stay connected!