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Optus ‘trick’ to get back some money after chaotic outage

"If 100,000 people do [this], they’re down $2 million. The more, the merrier."

A tech expert has come up with a way to get some cash back from Optus after the outage that stopped the nation, and it will “take you less than 10 minutes”.

Optus did nothing for its battered reputation when it offered a meagre 200GB of data to the 10.2 million customers left without internet or mobile access last week. And while a senate inquiry will investigate “fair compensation”, there is another option.

Consumer technology expert Trevor Long said you should log on to the My Optus app and simply downgrade your plan.

Optus shop front with an inset of the My Optus app screen showing plan information.
Even if you're only on the Optus $59 plan, you can save some money. (Source: AAP) (AAP)

"You see, the average user is - by my estimates - on the $69 Optus plan,” Long wrote in EFTM.

“That offers 220GB of data. But if you were to call Optus today, [and] ask to move down to the $49 plan - which offers 30GB of data - they would lose $20 in revenue this month. [If] 100,000 people do that, they’re down $2 million. The more, the merrier.

“I can hear you now: ‘30GB is not enough’. Oh, but alas, my dear friends, on Monday (According to Optus) or between then and the end of the year, you will be able to activate 200GB [of] additional data – thanks to the outage. So, from the $69 down to the $49, you’re actually back to square one – same amount of data to use (or a touch more), and 20 extra dollars in your pocket for Christmas."


The saving isn’t as big for those on a $59 plan but, if you’re on the $89 plan, you could pocket $40. That could help fill your car with petrol, treat yourself to a meal out or pay a bit extra off your mortgage.

You can then upgrade your plan again late next month if you need the higher data amount.

Be mindful not to go over though because you could be slugged with extra charges, negating the move altogether.

What caused the Optus outage?

Optus said yesterday the nationwide outage was caused by changes to “routing information” after a software upgrade.

“Around 4.05am Wednesday morning, the Optus network received changes to routing information from an international peering network following a routine software upgrade,” Optus said in a statement.

“The routing information changes propagated through multiple layers in our network and exceeded preset safety levels on key routers, which could not handle these.”

Optus said this caused routers to disconnect from the Optus IP Core network to protect themselves, requiring a large-scale operation to physically reconnect or reboot them. This meant Optus had to send people to “a number of sites in Australia”.

“This is why restoration was progressive over the afternoon,” Optus said.

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