Monday, October 10, 2011

Mobile Phones, Telcos, Customer Loyalty and Failing Hardware

I have been an Optus Customer since the good old days of analogue.

I have had very few problems, the odd billing issue, but never a hardware failure, never have I broken contract, never have I lost a phone, never have I asked for favours.

I have ALWAYS had 2 year contract and within 6 months of the contract expiring I ALWAYS get a new phone with a NEW 2 year contract.

For the last 2-3 months my phone has been playing up, calls drop out, the phone restarts for no reason what-so-ever and within the last week the phone won’t tether to my laptop…….. which is a real issue as I use this feature often for work.

Today I dropped past an Optus Store (Franchise) and asked if there was anything they could do for me. They said no – you break contract it will cost $404 to get a new handset. I said surely 15 years counts for something and they said there is nothing we can do, you have to call Optus customer service.

 So I call Optus customer service and after a 20 min phone call, I am advised that Optus will drop the $404 penalty to $250 and I can get a new handset. I started push I mean I’ve been a loyal customer for 15 years, doesn’t that count FOR SOMETHING?

I was then advised that I could receive a ‘loan’ handset until the end of contract. I immediately asked what sort of handset….. Various brands and models were rattled off, but when I started asking would it seamlessly sync all my details without 3rd party software or would the handset tether wirelessly to my laptop….. The answer was unknown.

I said seriously – I’ve been a customer of Optus for 15 years and you can’t just get me a new contract and handset and forget about the old? I was advised that the call taker had gone to her ‘limit’. Keeping in mind it’s now 20 minutes into a service call, that even though I’m with Optus I have to pay for…..

I started to realise I was talking to a brick wall.

15 years means nothing, customer loyalty means nothing and even when I used the “I’ll go to another provider” line, they seriously didn’t seem to care.

I’ve got 2 months left (before I get an early release) on my contract before I’m issued with a new handset… I’m going to sit the remainder of the 5 months of THIS contract out and seriously consider switching to Telstra (Other providers are no good where I live) And now that Telstra has ‘memo’ (a one to one answering service) just like Optus’s ‘Surepage’ There is nothing holding me back.

I’ve essentially been given ‘The Finger” and told my money, my loyalty and 15 years of service means nothing.

So might as well behave as though that is the case.


  1. You really are rather tech savvy with phones. We've tried Optus, but the coverage was just so poor. On that count, you can't beat Telstra.

  2. Don't know about "Tech Savvy" I just use my phone for what I consider basics. I don;t have all these 'apps' that people are talking about, and the tethering? that saves me carrying a dongle around (and saves me money)

    I don't think I'm being unfair.... Doesn't 15 years mean anything these days?

    As for coverage - I've been in the middle of the state forest and had coverage with Optus but not Telstra and the Sunday after the Black Saturday Bushfires, mine OPTUS Mobile was the ONLY ONE working in town that we've able to determine almost 3 years down the track. So I can't complain about Coverage.

    thanks for the comment again Andrew, It's always a pleasure to approve your posts!

  3. Heather, this is my experience