Got Talent?
Andy Gross

How are Optus even still in business?


I haven't written on this blog for sometime now - most of my ongoing exploits as a magician can be found in the NEWS section at 

However, this blog still has quite an archive of stories - especially complaints - and a LOT of them about OPTUS.

So why do I stay with Optus? Pretty much solely for cheap movie tickets, but even the money I save is really not worth the aggravation they continually cause. (Is it just me? No. Check this story.)

I have ADSL and a Landline with Optus. When it works, it's fine (not as fast as they promise... but, adequate). The problem is that as soon as anything goes wrong, I can kiss all my free time goodbye because I know I'll be spending it trying to get through to ANYONE at Optus.

Before Magic Festival (July 2-14) this year, my landline became static and my internet speed dropped to 0.7mbps.

So I called Optus (well, tried to, but they put you on hold until you get disconnected as some kind of cruel ritualistic test of stamina). Instead I had to message their Facebook page (what kind of a multi-billion dollar company uses free social media as their main form of contact anyway?) and tried their LIVE CHAT (which was offline).

In the end, I was finally able to get through on the phone and a technician told me I would need to go through a service test (the same test I do on the phone with them every single time this happens - and it happens a few times each year). Based on the fact this is an ongoing problem I told them the issue was that something had happened to the lines outside my house. They said that was possible, but if they sent a technician without doing the service test first, and it was determined the issue was inside the house, they would bill me for the repairs.

I was in a bind - my landline was the information number for the Magic Festival (but was impossible to use because of the static) but I didn't have enough spare time to do the service test (which takes up to 40 minutes) because I was running the Magic Festival and had quite a few time critical tasks yet to complete.

We agreed that THEY would call me back on July 16 and do a service test, then come fix the line.

So I was without phone and with incredibly slow internet for the next three weeks. I diverted the landline to my mobile and moved on.

Optus called me back on July 17 (maybe it was the 16th in India?) and did the service test (probably the 15th time I've done it) and determined that the line outside my house was damaged. I asked the Optus guy (Aamir) about compensation for being without a phone or internet for a month, and he said Customer Service would call me tomorrow (the 18th). Every time this has happened in the past they don't bill me for the service they did not provide. It's literally the LEAST they can do, but I still have to ask for it or I don't get it.

Aamir booked a Telstra repairman (they are Telstra owned cables, Optus just rents them) and the next day (the 18th) the phone was working again and my internet speed went from 0.7 to 7.0mbps.

(As a side note, Aamir said there was NO RECORD of any of my previous Optus faults on my account. He said once a problem is resolved, it's deleted from the customer account! Is that some weird way that they can claim they have a much lower number of faults than they actually do? If it's fixed... then it never happened?)

But... Customer Service didn't call. Not on the 18th, 19th or 20th. 

I contacted Optus FB and they said, according to my account, I was waiting to do a troubleshoot (service test). I explained that was done and I was waiting for Customer Service to call me. They gave me three other Optus departments I could try contacting instead, explaining that refunds need to be assessed and take up to 16 weeks to process.

I kept on at them, trying to simply have them ask Customer Service to call me back.. but no dice.

I get through to LIVE CHAT and they had a completely different set of notes on my account. They said that my issue had been escalated and was being looked at by a different Customer department. I explained I didn't care, i just wanted to get the call back I'd been promised on the 18th (it was not the 23rd and I had been in contact on a daily basis.

I continued to be in contact on a daily basis.. I noticed that the FB Optus would only respond to a private message every 24 hours.. which made conversations unnecessarily drawn out. (Intentional?) They also clearly were reading from a completely different set of notes attached to my account - it appeared that even within Optus, communication is not their strong suit.

Finally, I got back to the LIVE CHAT on Thursday the 27th and was PROMISED a call back at my convenience. As I had shows all morning Friday, I requested Friday after 4pm. 

Yes, the time came and went with no call back.

Tonight (Saturday), I contacted Optus FB saying "Live Chat GUARANTEED I would be called back yesterday after 4pm... guess what?? NO CALL!"

I'm unsure as to why they had done that Tim 😞 As I'd mentioned this wasn't noted on your account, unless they were organising someone to follow up with you, it's definitely not something I can see noted on the account - Marie

This was after a conversation on Wednesday where Marie wrote:

Hey Tim, as Steph's mentioned to to you before we are a social media team and contact our customers via the methods they reach out to us on. Who did you speak with that promised a call back? I'd be happy to follow it up for you - Marie

So on Wednesday she was going to follow it up, but on Saturday she asked me if someone was going to follow it up as there was nothing noted on my account... should SHE have noted something on Wednesday???

You see she also mentioned a Steph. From my initial contact on June 24 when I first private messaged them on FB I chatted to Alex, Miles, Aman, Phil, Steph amd Marie.


So, I tried LIVE CHAT again and eventually got through. I told them I was still waiting to get the promised call from Customer Service and, after some time, came this reply:

I understand that you are looking to get technical set up assistance for your broadband service. As I will not be able to put you across to them on chat as they are closed, I kindly request you to contact our technical team on 133937.

 How on earth they came to that conclusion I have no idea! At my suggestion he looked up my account and assured me that Customer Service were into it and I would get a call back tomorrow.

To be honest, if a team of installers turn up at 6am on my front door ready to hook me up to broadband I would not be surprised in the slightest!

But then, this LIVE CHAT person was the first in ALL the conversations I've had over this month to give me a reference number....