Optus cuts wireless broadband excess usage charges

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Optus cuts wireless broadband excess usage charges

Monthly data caps double, but beware a sting in the tail.

Optus has more than halved excess usage costs for a new range of 3G wireless broadband plans from 15c to six cents per MB.

The telco also boasted larger data allowances and lower modem costs, announced in a statement issued today.

But the larger data allowances are only valid while the customer is under a 12-month contract. When they come off contract, the monthly allowance in most cases is halved.

For example, the smallest plan, My Wireless 15, included 1GB of data per month in the first year but only 500MB after the initial contract term.

The chunkier $55 per month option included 7GB per month for the first 12 months, dropping to 3.5GB per month once the contract was up.

"After the initial 12 month term, the included data will reduce but customers will have a better understanding of how much data they really need and will be able to freely choose the best plan available at the end of 12 months," Optus said.

An Optus spokesperson confirmed with iTnews that the carrier is under no obligation to contact customers to inform them that their plan is about to expire, subjecting them to half the amount of included data and potentially high excess usage charges.

That said, Optus "does contact a lot of customers at around this time with upgrade offers," she said.

"Our point of view on this is that if a customer is coming off contract, they are free to choose another offer," she said. "We are putting self-service tools in place - such as My Account - so that the customer can monitor their data use." 

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