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Optus outage forces Aussie to make desperate offer

Would you pay $150 for a $2 SIM? One Optus customer is willing to do just that.

An Optus customer is offering a significant amount to get her phone connected, as millions of Aussies are forced offline by a nationwide outage.

Sydneysider Alma K is offering to pay someone $150 to purchase a Telstra or Vodafone SIM and deliver it to her.

“I’m an Optus customer affected by the outage and need to be connected for work rather than use friend’s phone. Need a SIM card …Telstra or Vodafone is fine and delivered to my door asap,” she wrote on Airtasker.

Want Optus compensation? To find out more about your rights, check out our explainer here.

Image of Optus store and Airtasker post about getting a SIM card delivered.
Some Optus customers Aussies are going to expensive lengths to get back online. (Source: AAP/Airtasker)

With a deadline of today, Alma has already received eight takers keen to cash in on the telco’s outage. And they could be in for a hefty pay day, with Telstra and Vodafone prepaid SIMs selling for just $2.


Another Aussie is paying $50 for someone to help her contact her parents because the outage leaves her unable to use her own phone.

“I need to contact my parents as my daughter is with them (I'm not close by) and I need to coordinate pick-up times. Could someone visit them so that we can sort out arrangements?” the Sydneysider wrote.


Telstra pre-paid customers reporting issues

Telstra pre-paid customers are also reportedly facing difficulties recharging their services due to a spike in demand.

“RIP can't even turn on my backup @Telstra sim right now,” one customer said.

Telstra told customers it was experiencing “very high demand to recharge pre-paid services right now”.

“You can still recharge by calling #100# and following the prompts. We're looking to increase capacity to manage the load,” Telstra said.

Multiple providers impacted

Optus services had been down since 4:00am, with the country’s second-largest telco saying it still did not know the root cause of the outage.

The outage was affecting the phones and internet of the network’s 10 million customers, along with carriers that use the Optus network. This includes Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, Moose Mobile, Coles Mobile and Dodo Mobile.

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin told ABC Radio she was “really, really sorry” the outage had occurred and the telco was working to get services up and running as soon as possible.

Optus outage: What you need to know

  • Who is impacted? Up to 10 million mobile, landline and broadband customers have been without service since early Wednesday morning

  • Is it a cyber attack? All signs point to no

  • How long will it last? Some services are starting to come back but it could "take hours" before everyone has service again

  • Can I call triple zero? On mobiles, yes as you will be transferred to an alternate network but on landlines no.

  • Does it matter if I am not with Optus? You could argue the vast majority of Australia has been impacted in one way or another. There’s been a trickle down from direct customers to bigger businesses or services that use Optus from hospitals and public transport to Uber drivers or the local cafe

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