Optus has today started contacting customers to advise of changes coming to Third Party Content Charges for Optus Postpaid and Prepaid mobile customers, advising that as of the 31st of January 2018.
The move is in response to customer feedback, which will see Optus customers no longer allowed to purchase certain subscription-based Third Party Content using their Optus account.
The changes affect new services after this date, but existing subscriptions to video or music streaming services like Netflix, Spotify and Google Play won’t be affected. Similarly, Yes TV by Fetch and Optus Sports subscriptions and one-time third party purchases including charity donations, TV voting and competitions won’t be affected.
Optus says the change will allow them to reduce the number of customers who find they’ve been charged unexpectedly. A situation which occurred on my Optus account this week when a company called Jamster decided to charge my account without me ever signing up for it. Optus were able to block the service and process a refund for me over the 24×7 Chat, but I wasn’t expecting the charge – and luckily my pre-paid service didn’t have sufficient funds or I may never have known.
Telstra announced they would begin blocking third-party content subscriptions for their customers in August, with their plan coming into effect on December 3.
Closing this loophole for what I view as scam services allows for a much nicer customer experience for Optus customers. There are of course quite legitimate services that may be hampered by this, but unfortunately we deal with the lowest common denominator in circumstances like this. With Telstra and Optus now beginning to block third-party subscription services it’s only a matter of time before Vodafone begins doing something as well.