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Optus apologises, offers customers bonus data after network outage

Optus has issued an apology to customers for Wednesday’s nation-wide network outage, blaming a “cascading failure” for the incident. But frustrated customers aren’t yet entitled to refunds or compensation, despite going without phone or internet service for up to 12 hours.

As a thank-you to its customer base, Optus will instead offer bonus data to eligible business and residential customers on postpaid and prepaid plans. Beginning Monday, November 13, postpaid customers will be able to access up to 200GB of extra data, while prepaid users will receive unlimited data every weekend until the end of this year.

Postpaid customers will receive details on how to add their bonus gigabytes from next week. If you’re a prepaid user, unlimited data will be applied automatically to your plan every weekend, beginning November 18.

Canstar Blue has reached out to Optus for clarification on how the bonus postpaid data offer will be applied to customer’s accounts, and will update as information becomes available.

Optus CEO: Sorry for letting customers down

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin apologised on Thursday to the company’s 10 million consumer and business customers.

“We’re deeply sorry for yesterday’s outage. We know how important connectivity is to all our customers, and that we let you down.

“We truly appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we worked to restore our operations yesterday.

“We know that there is nothing we can do to make up for yesterday and what customers want most is for our network to work all the time – which is our number one priority – but we also want to acknowledge their patience and loyalty by giving them additional data to help during the holidays, when so many people consume more data with friends and family.”

Optus also advised business customers who were impacted to contact their Optus Business Centre, or Optus Business Care on 133 343. However, it’s possible that businesses who experienced significant losses could be entitled to further compensation, with Telecommunications industry ombudsman Cynthia Gebert telling the Sydney Morning Herald her office was prepared to take a “strong line” with Optus.

What caused the Optus network outage?

Optus has attributed the outage to issues with its network routing, although specifics haven’t been released.

“In common with major global telecommunication networks, the Optus network is designed with multiple layers of fall back and redundancy. At the heart of this is a modern intelligent router network developed with the world’s leading vendors,” an Optus spokesperson said.

“Despite this, a network event yesterday triggered a cascading failure which resulted in the shutdown of services to our customers.

“Our engineers are investigating thoroughly and we will learn from this outage and continue to improve. We welcome, and intend to cooperate fully with, the Government investigations.”

The Albanese Government has announced that it will begin a post-incident review of the outage.  The Australian Communications and Media Authority will also examine Optus’ conduct during the incident, to determine if the telco stayed compliant with industry guidelines.

Postpaid offers you might like

The following table shows a selection of sponsored SIM Only plans on Canstar Blue’s database with links to referral partners.

What should I do if I’m an Optus customer?

If you’ve currently with Optus, but are considering switching to another provider, you have plenty of options for both home and internet.

If you’re looking for NBN, 5G or 4G home internet, you can compare plans for free using Canstar Blue’s easy-to-use internet comparison tool. You can also find more detailed info in our guide to changing NBN providers.

Mobile customers who aren’t paying off a device can easily sign up to a new plan elsewhere, then cancel their Optus service. You’ll also be able to take your existing phone number to a new plan, provided you don’t cancel your Optus account before activating your new service.

Several providers on the Telstra and Vodafone networks, including Boost Mobile, Kogan Mobile, and Tangerine, have welcomed Optus mobile customers with special offers and limited-time deals.

For more tips on changing your phone or broadband service from Optus, follow the link below.

Your Optus switching options explained

Compare SIM-only phone plans

Here is a selection of postpaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 20GB of data, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Try using our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see a wide range of plans from other providers. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Here is a selection of prepaid plans from Canstar Blue’s database with a minimum of 10GB of data each month, listed in order of standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. If you want to compare a larger range of offers from other providers, use our phone plan comparison tool. This table includes products with links to referral partners.

Tara Donnelly
Utilities Editor
Tara Donnelly is an internet and mobile expert - sectors she’s spent a decade covering - and also oversees energy and consumer technology content. She holds a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Canberra and has shared her expertise on national media including 9 News, 7 News, Sunrise and the ABC.

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