Optus is refunding 994 small and medium sized businesses almost $800,000 after a “billing error” caused them to continue to be charged for landline services they had churned away.
The errors occurred over a 10-year period to March 2021 and were identified and “self-reported” by Optus to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).
“Optus advised that the issue occurred due to incorrect billing end-dates being entered into its system for customers transferring to other telcos,” the ACMA said in a statement.
“Optus continued to bill these customers after they had transferred their service to other providers.”
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said 15 of the impacted customers “were charged more than $10,000 which can be a huge amount for a small business to lose.”
O’Louglin said it was “alarming and unacceptable that such a fundamental flaw went undetected in Optus’s systems for so long.”
“We are closely monitoring Optus to ensure it refunds all affected customers and takes action to reduce the risk of future billing errors,” she added.
Optus has contacted all affected customers “and to date repaid 98 percent of the charges plus interest.”