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.