I’d love to be writing about something else right now, but Optus just keeps rolling out the hits with their response to Wednesday’s national network outage. Today, it’s the detail of their compensation package that are attracting my attention and leading to nothing more than a massive face palm.

There’s a lot to get through here, so strap in.

Mobile Customers – data limits and activation

What you get: Extra Data to use over the “summer” period

The Pros and Cons: It’s a pretty decent amount of extra data – though the amount seems to have fluctuated, but you probably don’t need it, and you have to go to the trouble of activating it – and probably each month.

When Optus first announced their compensation, the wording was very clear : “From Monday, 13 November, eligible postpaid customers, both small businesses and consumers, will be able to access 200GB of extra data, and customers have until the end of the year to activate.”

But today, if you visit the Optus website where they are chronicling every detail of their response to the outage – the wording is different: “we are providing customers on eligible plans at least 200GB of extra data, so you can connect more during the upcoming summer.”

So, now you get “at least” 200GB, but – the devil is in the detail folks, check the fine print and it’s actually “Bonus data is available as 100GB per billing cycle for 3 billing cycles” so it’s actually 300GB, but if you planned to smash through some data one month, that’s restricted to an additional 100GB only.

We can’t glean from the fine print thus far is if you need to activate it each month, we think not, given this fine print “(including the billing cycle during which the offer is activated)” – so that’s good.

But – you DO have to activate it. Optus is not just GIVING you additional data, you need to go to the trouble of activating it, through a process yet to be announced (My bet is you’ll need to use the MyOptus app)

What was 200GB is now 300GB, but it’s a downgrade to a maximum of 100GB in the month. The fact you have to go out of your way to activate it is a slap in the face of those affected.

Mobile Customers – are you even eligible? Why or why not?

Don’t assume you’re eligible folks. Because the fine print reveals that there are 39 different Optus plans that are not eligible for the bonus data.

That’s right, likely hundreds of thousands of people who just don’t qualify.

Why? Well it looks to us like a mix of much older plans, and retail deals Optus has done at places like Harvey Norman, Officeworks and Apple.

Gerry Harvey is running ads on the radio about how we shouldn’t kick Optus while they’re down, well, I’ve never been on Gerry or Optus’ Christmas card lists so I really don’t give a shit.

But what Gerry should realise is that all those people who were drawn into his stores this year for the Samsung Galaxy S23, Z series and iPhone 15 with outstanding – really great – zero dollar down Optus deals to get a new phone – they are the kind of people Optus is saying “nope – no data for you!” to (see full list below).

As for the much older plans, these are people who are happy with what they are spending, not interested in fancy new data plans, and I’m guessing have FAR LESS data available to them than those on the modern plans. Making them the most likely to benefit from this additional data.

It really is another smile and wave from Optus at real people, real Australians who were out of touch for most of Wednesday.

Home Broadband (nbn) Customers – More Speed, but a lot of effort

What you get: Access to a higher speed plan on your home nbn connection

The Pros and Cons: This is the infamous “Boost” feature Optus created, now called Turbocharge. But you have to activate it every single day and there are limitations – some people even miss out completely.

Remember when Optus came up with the idea that you could open the MyOptus app, select Turbocharge and get faster speeds for 24 hours on your home internet plan? $5 a day it costs, and while it’s a nice idea, I really don’t know many people that need more for just a single day.

Leaving that aside, that’s the offer to home NBN customers with Optus. You get that Turbo charge boost – for just $0 a day!!

Yay! Faster internet for nothing!

What’s the catch? Oh, you have to log in every single day to enable it.

Oh, sweet, I’m going to get 1000mbps!! No, no. “FTTP and HFC customers can only Turbocharge to a max speed of Home Superfast” so just 250mbps for you.

Hang on, how can I boost my speed if I’m already on the “Ultrafast” plan – well, you can’t. Optus is offering you nothing.

Home Broadband 4G and 5G customers – more speed, because it doesn’t cost Optus anything

What you get: Speed boost on your Unlimited home broadband

The Pros and Cons: More speed, and you don’t have to do anything to get it!

If you’ve got Optus’ 4G or 5G home broadband, you get a sweet little speed boost without lifting a finger!

Yep, 5G customers get Uncapped 5G Speeds for December – no need to activate, and 4G Home Internet customers get Upgraded speed plans at no cost, no need to activate.

You see, Optus does that within their network. It doesn’t cost them a cent, the only negative is the impact on the network with more people using more data and slowing each other down – but that doesn’t matter to Optus!

If they did this for NBN customers, Optus would get a higher wholesale bill from the NBN – and we wouldn’t want that now would we.

Prepaid Mobile Customers – Yipee, you get the best deal.

What you get: Unlimited data every weekend till the end of the year!

The Pros and Cons: You just get it, and it works. Nice!

Another winner, you’re just getting Unlimited data on weekends, no need to activate.

Unlimited data available on every weekend 18th Nov to 31st Dec 2023 between 12:01am Saturday to 11:59PM Sunday. 

You’re getting it right now! So stream away, sync to the cloud, get it happening.

The cost and complexity of Compensation

Nothing is easy, I get that, but Optus has vastly overcomplicated this whole thing, for themselves and their customers.

A $5 credit on next month’s bill and unlimited data for Prepaid customers is pretty simple, hits everyone. And while it isn’t true “compensation” it’s the gesture that would have got them coming out of a slump.

Would have “cost” them $50million, which is 15% of their monthly revenue, and 1.25% of their annual revenue. It’s a rounding error.

Missed opportunity.

The Haves and the Have Nots


  • Prepaid customers
  • 4G Home Broadband Customers
  • 5G Home Broadband Customers

Have to work for it:

  • Home NBN Customers (excluding those below)
  • Mobile Postpaid customers (excluding those below)

Have Nots:

  • Home NBN Broadband Ultrafast customers
  • Postpaid Mobile Customers on these plans:
    • $99 Officeworks Voice Plan 12M
    • $99 Officeworks Voice Plan 24M
    • $69 Harvey Norman Outright 36M Promo Plan
    • $89 Harvey Norman Outright Promo Plan
    • $49 Officeworks Voice Plan 12M
    • $89 Officeworks Voice Plan 24M
    • $89 Officeworks Voice Plan 12M
    • $69 Officeworks Voice Plan 24M
    • $69 Officeworks Voice Plan 12M
    • $79 BYO Handset Promo Plan
    • $39 Upfront Plan
    • $39 Sim Only Voice Plan
    • $49 Gift Card Voice Plan
    • $69 Gift Card Voice Plan
    • $99 Gift Card Voice Plan
    • $99 Gift Card Voice Plan (Feb 2022)
    • $49 Harvey Norman Outright Promo Plan
    • $45 Officeworks 12M SIM (Feb 21)
    • $45 Officeworks 24M SIM (Feb 21)
    • $65 Officeworks 12M SIM (Feb 21)
    • $65 Officeworks 24M SIM (Feb 21)
    • $45 Apple Retail 24M SIM (Feb 21)
    • $65 Apple Retail 24M SIM (Feb 21)
    • $50 Unleashed 12M SIM (Dec 17)
    • $40 Unleashed 12M SIM (Dec 17)
    • $60 Unleashed 12M SIM (Dec 17)
    • Optus One Mobile 12M SIM (Oct 17)
    • $100 Unleashed Flex (Leasing Jul 17)
    • $100 Unleashed Plus (TI Jul 17)
    • $65 Unleashed BYO (Jul 17)
    • $65 Unleashed BYO (Online Jul 17)
    • $25 My SIM Plan (Jul 2013)
    • $25 My SIM Plan Bonus (Dec 2013)
    • $0 Optus Plan (Mar 2015)
    • $9 Optus Plan (Mar 2015)
    • $19 Optus Plan (Mar 2015)
    • $35 My Plan 200min 200MB (Jul 2013)
    • $50 My Plan 450min 1GB (Jul 2013 Recon)
    • $60 My Plan 600min 1.5GB (Jul 2013 Recon)