Optus customers urged to check for refunds

| July 10, 2019

Optus customers are encouraged to check if they have received an email or SMS from Optus about a refund they may be entitled to in relation to Optus’s Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) third-party billing service.

In February 2019, following ACCC action, the Federal Court ordered Optus to pay penalties of $10 million for making false or misleading representations about charges for digital content, such as games and ringtones, that were incurred to customers through its third-party billing service.

At that time, Optus also committed to contacting potentially impacted customers who complained about the services and who had not already received a refund, as well as those customers identified by Optus as having been incorrectly charged.

This was to be in addition to the $21 million Optus and various third party providers had already repaid to 240,000 customers in the years before the proceedings.

Under the refund program Optus has contacted and offered refunds to over 390,000 customers but so far only around 25 per cent of these have taken up refunds worth $6.7 million according to an update it has provided to the ACCC.

“Many of the affected customers were charged for content that they never wanted and never used, and from which they found difficult to unsubscribe. In some cases children unwittingly incurred charges,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

In addition to refunding customers, Optus has also committed to reviewing any future complaints about its DCB service and to dealing with those complaints in good faith.

The ACCC is urging Optus customers to call Optus on 1800 672 501 if they believe they may be entitled to a refund and have not yet been contacted by Optus.