Optus updates ad targeting Telstra after it limits excess fees

Optus has altered its anti-bill shock campaign targeting Telstra after the rival telco became the last of the big three phone companies to limit the amount many of its customers pay for mobile phone calls.

The move ends the era in which customers could be hit by bills worth thousands of dollars for exceeding their monthly call allowance, which had been the target of Optus’ original campaign highlighting how while the two providers’ networks were quite similar, the costs involved were not.

The new ad is effectively the same, however Optus has updated the figures to reflect the current market. The older version of the ad featured a bar chart that claimed Telstra customers could end up paying up to $454.40 on a $60 plan if the customer exceeded their monthly allowance.

The new commercial:

Telstra had challenged Optus to stop airing the ad, which was part of Optus’ wider “bill shock” campaign which began in October, saying it would no longer be valid.

Optus head of brand Nathan Rosenberg said: “We constantly review our advertising to ensure its accuracy and we’ve recently updated our TVC with changes to the  comparison. We are committed to running this ad because we want Australians to know it’s worth moving to Optus  so you aren’t taken for granted.”

“Telstra’s changes to voice charges do not address increased data usage. We know that customers are using more and more data and are more likely to experience bill shock,” Rosenberg added.

The new ad went to air on Sunday.

M&C Saatchi is the lead creative agency on Optus.


  1. Billy C
    22 Jan 14
    1:10 pm

  2. I got data bill shock while on holiday recently. Don’t trust the data messages Optus send you, they are significantly delayed. Got a message saying I’d used 80% of my data. Turned my phone off. Turned it back on and got told I’d used 100%. Turned my phone off. Turned it on and got a text saying I owed them $295. Managed to buy a data pack for $25 to wipe out the bill but until the data allowance messages are in real time there is still potential to get bill shock.If I hadn’t have done it before the end of the billing cycle I’d have to pay it. I did use the data but I was relying on a text message to tell me I’d hit 100% before I stopped.

  3. Dave
    22 Jan 14
    3:19 pm

  4. Great until you actually read your 15 page bill, and see how Optus is slipping in, not new, ‘revised’ billing. Was overseas, and when I returned noticed all these $1 charges on my bill. Called Optus and they ‘revised’ their charging practice to bill for a call overseas when you haven’t answered the call!! Each time the phone rang and I didn’t pick up, kaching, another buck for Optus……. Hmmmmm…

  5. Optus mobile customer
    22 Jan 14
    6:03 pm

  6. Umm, SMS alerts have never been real time. This is very clearly laid out if you had bothered to read. And data packs have been available for a long time now, again another case of consumer inattention.

    And in relation to calls overseas, its the carrier that you are roaming on that decides if a call is charged or not, incoming outgoing or unanswered. So again its not Optus “slipping anything in” More cases of not taking responsibility for yourself.

  7. Billy C
    22 Jan 14
    10:35 pm

  8. Perhaps they have never been real time but when Optus heavily advertises that you will not get bill shock you tend to believe them. Even an SMS that says you owe $300 unless you purchase a data pack would be more helpful than you owe $300.

    When you SMS in to get your usage it doesn’t say that the percentage may be out by 24 hours it simply states your usage as a fact. I take responsibility for my own data and I’m prepared to pay for it if I use too much but in this case the alerts create a false sense of security.

  9. jocelyn Adele
    24 Jan 14
    10:09 am

  10. The Optus ad is for the “My Plan” packages
    So if you are on another plan .. upgrade