Optus has agreed to compensate an undisclosed number of prepaid customers after it reduced their data, call, and text allowances without notifying them.
The ACCC today said it had accepted a court-enforceable undertaking from Optus to compensate customers affected by changes made to inclusions on certain prepaid plans on three occasions in 2015 and 2016.
The telco failed to ensure that the changes only applied to consumers who purchased products after the changes were introduced.
Instead, any customers who activated SIM cards after the changes were implemented received less data and calls/texts than they signed up for - regardless of when they bought the product.
One example included an August 2015 promotion that offered 5GB data for 30 days with the purchase of a Huawei E5331 wi-fi modem. The same promotion - with data allowance dropped to 2GB and availability only for 14 days - was run in October.
However customers who bought the modem in the August promotion, but didn't activate the device until after October, were demoted onto the 2GB, 14-day allowance.
“Customers who chose an Optus prepaid plan based on its advertised value, but who activated or recharged their SIM card after Optus changed allowances for calls, text and data, received less than they were promised at the time they purchased the plan,” ACCC commissioner Sarah Court said in a statement.
Optus did not notify these customers of the reductions or warn them that their SIM card should be activated before a certain date to receive the promotions they signed up for, the ACCC said.
The ACCC said customers who think they might be entitled to a credit should visit either the Optus website or the outlet where they purchased the prepaid product.
Optus will credit affected customers with the amount of data, calls, and texts they missed out on, the ACCC said.
The telco said customers who purchased certain prepaid products between August 2013 and June 2016 may be affected. It has been contacted for more detail.