Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More Optus arrogance and contempt for its customers

OPTUS has been forced to halt the planned shut down of its email domain after users complained of insufficient warning.

Thousands of long-time Optus customers awoke this morning to find empty email inboxes after the telco last night flicked the off switch to its email domain server.

Optus says it warned subscribers of the impending change -- a migration to a new domain, -- in an April newsletter but admitted it failed to issue any follow-up warnings.

The shutting down of the domain server meant that emails sent to customers with addresses disappeared into the internet ether or bounced back to the sender’s address.

But angry customers swarmed Optus's customer service hotline, saying they weren't aware of the closure.

One unhappy customer in Sydney expressed his disappointment that the telco failed to put in place an email redirect. He hopes Optus will learn from its mistake when it moves to complete the migration.

“Optus should have been more direct when notifying people about this change rather than hiding it in a newsletter.

“The ramifications are not just to the thousands of Optus customers but it’s a pain for any subscriptions people have, any software upgrades that are registered with that specific email address, bank statements and more," he said.

Optus refused to say why a simple domain name redirect was not put in place to avoid any disruption to customers’ email services.

An Optus spokeswoman said the migration process began yesterday afternoon but has since been put on hold while new notification procedures are put in place.

“Customers will be notified in the coming weeks regarding the date of the termination of the affected domain names. Optus apologises for any inconvenience,” she said.

The spokeswoman said the migration was implemented to reduce high-levels of spam and that only those customers who have been a customer with the telco since before 2002, when the domain was introduced, were affected by the change.

This includes all email addresses that sit on Optus’s, and domains. All of these will eventually be migrated to the domain.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Letter to Manager, Optus landline accounts

RE: 3391 xxxx

I draw your attention to the enclosed correspondence.

I strongly object to the time it took to restore my phone service. I was without use of the line for roughly a month and I advise that I will be deducting one month's rental charge from any future payments that I make. You may wish to pass an equivalent credit to the account to resolve the matter.

The other person in the building whom your technician apparently cut off (Mr. Miranda) had his service restored today by a Telstra technician without affecting my service. His experience in getting technical service that was both prompt and competent is a sad contrast with your performance in my case.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Letter to the TIO

Three weeks ago I wrote the enclosed letter to Optus. They have of course not replied.

They have however done SOMETHING. About a week ago I got a dialling tone back on my phone but the line was so noisy that the phone was still unusable.

Now today the snap crackle and pop is gone and my phone is completely "fixed"

They have fixed it, however, by cutting off the phone of someone else in the building and giving me his line. His phone is now dead.

That is so stupid that I am at loss to find words to describe it.

Since Optus will not communicate with me, would you PLEASE find someone at Optus capable of acting constructively in this matter? I fear that they will "fix" the other guy's line by cutting mine off again.

While you are talking to them you might suggest that they waive one month's line rental on my phone -- as that is roughly how long I had no use of it

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Letter to Landline Accounts, Optus

Re: Ph. 3391 xxxx

The phone service above was originally taken out by Judith B**. She left these premises some years ago but advised you that I was authorized to operate the account. I have no information about her present whereabouts

Since her departure I have used the service and paid all your bills promptly.

I have however not had any service for over a week now. The phone is "dead"

Please advise whether this is a line fault or whether it is the result of some action on your part.

In either case I will not be paying any more bills unless the service is restored.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Optus: A thoroughly nasty and evasive company

Knowing how they treat their customers, it is no surprise to hear how they treat their dealers. My local phone shop has broken with them. I now begin to understand why

OPTUS could face a costly backlash from its dealer network as seven parties prepare to file a class action in a bid to recoup allegedly withheld commission payments.

It is understood a draft filing has been prepared by the law firm representing the dealers and is likely to be lodged with the Federal Court in about a month.

Dealers resell Optus products and services, earning commission on the sale and a trailing commission based on a customer's monthly account.

It is understood the dealers' dispute with Optus flows from the telco's alleged failure to make ongoing commission payments over a number of years.

An Optus spokesperson said there were no court actions or class actions involving unpaid commissions or other issues.

The spokesperson did not directly respond to a question about whether commission payments had been paid in full to Optus dealers.

"Optus is committed to fulfilling its obligations to its dealers at all times," the spokesperson said.

"In the event of a dispute with our dealers ... we would generally resolve the issue through negotiation or mediation." It is believed the dealers have alleged that millions of dollars worth of payments have been withheld.

Any decision against Optus would open the door for similar actions by others in the telco's 1500-strong dealer network.

It is understood Optus has previously reached settlements with a number of dealers for payouts worth millions of dollars.

Optus did not respond to questions about whether settlements had been reached previously with dealers.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Letter TO: Accounts, Optus prepaid mobile

Yesterday I went online and topped up my prepaid a/c for phone 0423 XXXXXX

Shortly afterward I rang 555 to check that the new balance had been applied. It had.

I checked with my credit card provider this morning and the appropriate debit has been made

Yet I received a text message from you this morning telling me to recharge or my account would be suspended shortly

Please explain

I also note that I was on a plan which gave me 12 months to use the funds but my enquiry to 555 told me I had only 6 months

Please explain

Failing a prompt and satisfactory reply from you, I will hand this matter to the TIO. I have had experience with your scatterbrained "service" before, you see.

Update July 3

I received a letter today saying that they are looking into it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

An email from an Optus insider:

I was incredibly impressed that you were posting this information online. It's extremely important that the public can see exactly how dodgy Optus is. They may have been a champion of the customers 10-15 years ago, but now they are worse than Telstra.

I worked for Optus for several years until a short while ago, and I watched everything around me continue to fall apart.

I was there when Optus started switching customers to that terrible Reitz computer system (both postpaid AND prepaid customers had to suffer), I was there when they launched that Optus Wireless Fusion package (which was so bad that they had to stop selling it for a while).

I was there when they released the iPhone, and then when the flood of angry calls came in from iPhone customers who couldn't use the service because of our terrible 3G speeds.

It may be the worst company I have ever worked for, my colleagues all suffered nothing but constant stress and frustration.

Most Optus staff start putting weight on very quickly, I myself gained 10kg while I was there. The only thing that kept me going was the glasses of straight liquor I was drinking every single night, and even sometimes during my lunchbreaks at work.

I'm unemployed at the moment, and that feels like a promotion compared to what I had to go through at Optus.

When you work for a company like Optus, there's only 2 ways you can deal with the constant stress.

One way is to do everything you can to do the right thing for customers. Take the time, fix their problems and get constant praise for being the first person to help them. Go above and beyond, spend an hour on the phone calling other departments to get it fixed. Call them back every day to give them an update on whether or not their problem is resolved.

That's what I did, and it turned me into a depressed overweight alcoholic, but at least I could sleep at night without feeling like a criminal. But you don't meet your stats/targets, and you won't have a chance of getting any special rewards or bonuses.

The second way is to become just another call centre robot. Don't care about the person on the other end, the company has made it so hard to do the right thing that you may as well just give up and start giving people the runaround. Listen for "trigger words" during the call, any reason you can to dump them through to another department. These are the people who achieve/exceed their targets and get rewarded with big bonuses and prizes.

I'm absolutely thrilled that this new Vodafone/Three merger will make them the #2 mobile telco in Australia. Most young people seem to be with both of those companies, and if they start getting free calls between Vodafone and Three mobiles then Optus is going to lose a lot of their youth base. It's not cool to be with Optus, the only hope they have is to try to revamp their Virgin Mobile brand (which has better customer service and plans anyway).

If you have any problems or questions relating to anything at Optus, send me an email and I'll be happy to tell you what I know.

I've already started posting this information online, if I said I despised this company it would be an understatement.

They've made life hell for so many customers and staff, just to try to boost their profits. That's inexcusable in my opinion.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Optus gives away family's phone number

Anybody can make a mistake but getting the arrogant b*stards to acknowledge their mistakes is the hard part. That people have to go to the media to get any attention is a disgrace. It once took me a year, innumerable emails and phone calls plus the assistance of the TIO before I got them to fess up that their system was at fault for the difficulties I was having

A FAMILY that had the same contact details for 15 years are angry their phone number was given to a family in the next suburb.

Ruth and Bob Pye had been Optus customers for 15 years before they decided to switch to Telstra around 18 months ago.

They opted to keep the same phone number, which was important for Mr Pye's work as a bricklayer contractor.

But they were unaware their number had been duplicated until about eight weeks ago, when they began receiving calls for someone named David.

"And my daughter kept ringing me on the home number, but the call was going through to a young family with children," Ms Pye said.

"Eventually I called our home number myself from a mobile, and got on to a man named David. I asked him what his phone number was -- and he gave me our number."

The other family -- who lived in Frankston North -- were with Optus, she said. Ms Pye said she contacted Telstra and Optus, but both companies initially refused to believe that two addresses would have been allocated the same number.

"What got up my nose is that there has been no apology or anything. This has been going on for two months and we have no idea how much business my husband has lost because of this," Ms Pye said.

A spokeswoman for Optus said yesterday the number had been incorrectly allocated to a new customer after Mr and Ms Pye moved their business to Telstra. "Optus apologises for any inconvenience," she said.

A Telstra spokesman said problems with the Pyes' phone line had been resolved.