In a surprisingly honest mea culpa at the company party in Sydney last night, Optus CEO Kevin Russell said his company had taken serious steps to help its customers avoid "bill shock" which occurs when customers exceed their monthly data and call allowances or using roaming when travelling overseas.
"Let's be crystal clear. As an industry, we know how people use their phones, we know that young people will get their first smartphone and go bananas on it," the CEO admitted during a casual interview that was quoted by Fairfax Media.
"We know people are going to get hit with a $500 or $600 bill, and we know that if they don't complain we'll get an extra whopping bit of revenue. It's just crap," he said.
"I just think a lot of Australians are paying a lot more than they should be and running through their allowances and it's hammering people," Mr Russell told journalist and Optus staff, highlighting that he expected bill shock to become a "a big issue" in the next 12 months.
He also drew attention to issues with international roaming for Australian consumers.
"The idea that you're on holiday and you get a $5000 bill is a shocker," Mr Russell said.
"Data breakage and voice breakage is a shocker. The idea that your kids can do something and you end up with a $500 bill is crap. I think it's a bit immoral."
A spokesperson confirmed that Optus had introduced a range of new plans that should alleviate the risks of bill shock.
Russell, who has been in the job since March 2012, touted the plans as being part of the company's approach to doing "good" things to address "some of the things that piss people off".
ninemsn.com.au 22 Nov 2013
'Ripping off' customers may have a few meanings.
- theft of monies from the customer,
- goods not provided to the customer,
- advertised product not provided to customer,
- poor service to customer
and possibly a few more.