iPhone and Optus "The Experience"

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Double2, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Double2 macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2008
    Before I begin, I have to say that I have been an Optus mobile customer for the past 2 years or so. I have been with Optus previously too and recommended them to friends and members of my family.

    This my story:
    One Thursday night at around 6pm, I signed up for an iPhone at an OptusWorld in Perth.
I wanted to buy one outright, but they wouldn't sell me one. I wanted a 8GB phone, but they only had a 16GB left, so I though what the ****, the contract they're offering is only $5 or so more a month (over 24 months).
It took ages for the computer system to process my application, and when they said they could unbrick it on the spot, or I could do it at home, I was tired, so I decided to do the unbricking at home.
This was a mistake. I walked out of the shop without checking that the phone worked. I left without a receipt because their receipt printer was broken. The gave me a copy of the contract that I'd had to sign to get the phone and said that if I brought it back tomorrow, they'd print a receipt for me then.

    I got the phone home. I went through setup on iTunes and everything went fine. But when I tried to use the phone, I quickly discovered that the only button on the phone (the "Home" button) didn't work. I could navigate all the options and the phone seemed to do the right sorts of things, but the
only way to get back to the main screen was to turn the phone off completely and then turn it back on.

I took the phone back to OptusWorld and they put me through a "hard" reset.

    They said they had to try the hard reset as it was a standard procedure (although they weren't hopeful of it resolving this particular problem).

    They started the reset and it took 2 hours or so for the little progress bar to move to 100%. The printer still wasn't working, so I again left without a receipt or a working phone.
I was at home when the reset finished, I tried the phone out again.

    No dice – the home key still didn't work.

I decided to call the Optus support line. I got a technical guy and they said I had to take it back to OptusWorld. I said that the trips to OptusWorld were becoming annoying, and that the amount of time I was spending on this phone was not worth it. I said that I no longer wanted the phone as a 3rd trip to OptusWorld was going to eat up another hour of my time, and that I if I had to do that, it would be the last trip I made there.
    They put me through to someone else (who had no idea who I was despite they fact that my first phone contact said they'd pass on my details. This person said that I couldn't cancel my contract unless I could prove that the phone didn't work and that I'd have to go through trouble shooting. I explained that I'd already been through the process of the hard
reset and that I'd just been transferred from the support desk, but they said that I had to go through the support process and transferred me.
    Again I had to explain who I was and what the problem was, when I got to the end and they said that I had to take the phone back to OptusWorld. I said that no longer cared for the phone and just wanted out. They said that I'd have
 to go to the store to cancel.
    I lost my temper and just hung up.

I cooled down, ate some lunch, then drove out to OptusWorld to see what they could do.
 They decided my phone was stuffed, and would have to be sent in for repairs. They couldn't replace the phone with another one from their stock because they had to send it away to be fixed. 

    I wanted out, the whole iPhone experience was becoming a nightmare. A woman came in while I was waiting - she had a similar problem with another mobile (not a iPhone). She been trying to get it sorted for 4 weeks. They still had her phone and she couldn't use her service, but they were still billing her. She warned me that I should get the problem solved fast and not end up like her.

    I said that I wanted to cancel the contract and give back the phone. They said this wasn't possible as the contract and the phone were separate. I pointed out that I couldn't get the phone without the special iPhone contract that I was on, that the phone was specifically mentioned in the contract, and that I could cancel the contract if Optus failed to honor it's side of the contract which meant giving me a phone that could be used.

    I was getting nowhere so I offered a compromise – how about a replacement phone. They said no again. I said can I talk to someone about canceling the contract. They phoned optus and put me on to someone who said no, you have to pay out the contract $1000+. This was a bit much for a phone that
never worked and a contract that was just 18 hours old. So I said can I speak to a manager the person on the end of the phone said yes and put me on hold while they got someone.
    I was on hold 20 minutes. Some of the time I held the phone, some of the time the OptusWorld guy held the phone. I told
 them they could get more out of an alternative career, the job market is still good in WA and I couldn't think of many jobs that were worse than sitting with angry customers and listening to hold music.

    Eventually a manager answered. I told them I just wanted out, they said OK. 
I was so happy to be free, but it would not last.
 The manager said that there was a cooling off period of 14 days, all I had to do was give the phone to OptusWorld and it would be all over.
 I asked them to repeat it to the OptusWorld people. They did. The OptusWorld people asked what they should do with the phone? They could not re-sell it as it was broken, and they were concerned about getting the cost of the phone deducted from their salary. The manager on the phone said no 
problem I'll email you (the OptusWorld person) and the State Account Manager giving you the OK to take the phone back, and that they should have the email in 10 minutes. I spoke to the guy again and asked if I could have a copy. He said No, but then said I can send you an email telling you that the phone can be returned.

It was all too good to be true.

    We waited for an hour, no email arrived. I asked the OptusWorld people to call the guy back, but they didn't have his contact details. They called the Optus help line, and identified themselves as dealers. After a considerable amount of talking by both them and me, they said would call Sales Support explain the problem, and then put us through. We were on hold for about 2 minutes and then the phone started saying something like "We're closed for the day call back between 8:30 and 4:30". Hmmm it was only 3pm on Friday.

    The way the OptusWorld people reacted (and there were a few involved now) told me this happened a lot.
They started dialing the help line and typing in codes to get to a person, identifying themselves as dealers and getting nowhere. The people on the other end were saying that they were no notes about the conversations that we'd had recorded against my account.
    The OptusWorld people eventually got through to someone who said they'd put them through to a team leader again.
They asked the new team leader to look for records about my account to see what had been written and to get the contract cancelled. The team leader said let me put you on hold while I look up the details. The OptusWorld people were on hold for about 3 minutes and then the guy just hung up on them.
I was feeling sorry of the OptusWorld guys. They'd worked hard trying to get their own company to solve a customer problem and couldn't.
They said that since it was now 4pm, they'd have to try again on Monday as everyone would be off having a beer and they'd get nowhere until Monday. I had wasted an entire day (apart from cool-off over lunch) with Optus either at their store or on the phone to them. I was tired and agreed.

    The following had become apparent to me:

    1) Optus sales people are considered germs by Optus.

    2) Optus call centre people just want you off the phone – they either transfer you, put you on hold for ages, or give you a fake resolution.

    3) This situation has been put in place to ensure people give up rather than resolve their problems with Optus.

    4) I would never get my receipt.
5) I will never get a day of my life back.

    I'm still trying to solve this problem. So far Optus have refused to end my contract, or give me a working phone.
  2. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Can't you just tell your bank not to authorize any payments to Optus?...also maybe try another Optus store
  3. MST macrumors 6502


    Dec 3, 2007
    Surrey, UK
    It all sounds very interesting...though I do feel for you, would love to know how this pans out [obviously in your favor I hope].

    Good luck! ;)
  4. aussie.damo macrumors regular

    Nov 20, 2006

    That is just crazy! I totally feel your pain, I had a similar situation with Optus when I first got my phone. I'll give you the short version:

    I queued up to get a phone on the first day they went on sale. Waited in line for 6 hours. Got my phone, it was faulty. Battery would last 4 hours on standby with no use! I rang OptusWorld three days later, they were extremely unhelpful, so I called Apple. They said sort it out with Optus, so I rang their support line.

    This is where my merry-go-round began.

    I spoke with Optus 17 times over the next week trying to get it sorted. I got told by each one of them that I'd need to pay contract cancellation fee and a handset payout fee. Being as I had actually read the contract, and am a lawyer, I explained that this was not required. There is a 10 day cooling off period, applicable even if you just change your mind. I had, like you, the added "benefit" of having a defective product, so there was no way they could charge me such outrageous fees.

    The great thing about Optus is how **** their customer service is. In fact, it's mostly non-existent. Every time I called, there was no record of my previous call. Lucky for me, I always asked for their employee number and name, so I could track who I was speaking too. Incidentally, the employee number is CPxxxxxx and they are obliged to provide this on request. After the first few calls, I would just ask for a supervisor straight away, there's no point dealing with the person who answers the phone.

    In the end, I managed to get the contract cancelled, the cancellation fee "waived" and $100 credit to my account. I got this by refusing to get off the phone until I got what I was after.

    In summary, here's what I'd recommend:

    * Take the phone back to the store, leave it with them and get a receipt, even if it's hand-written;
    * Get the name and CP number of everyone you speak to at Optus;
    * Dial 1300 301 937 (this takes you directly to the Australian call centre, rather than India);
    * The two most helpful people I spoke to at Optus were supervisor Josh and phone rep Tamas. See if you can get through to them;
    * Don't get off the phone until you get what you are entitled too (and then some!)

    Good luck buddy.

  5. chrisparr macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2008
    Stopped reading a few paragraphs in, but don't you have a cooling off period on mobile contracts in your country?

    Here in the UK you have 14 days to cancel if you wish. Do that and then take out another contract if they are messing you around.

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