Optus Prepaid Price Set To Skyrocket

Prepaid iPhone users on the Optus network should prepare themselves for a change that could empty their wallet faster than you can say “YouTube”.

UPDATED: We got in contact with Optus and a spokesperson from Optus said:

Optus would like to clarify it is not charging in 500 kilobyte increments. As of 1 November 2008, Optus Pre-Paid Mobile customers will be charged $1.32 per 60-kilobytes increment (2.2¢ per KB) + 22¢ flagfall for both Zoo browsing and internet usage.

While this changes part of the story, we would like to say that an increase from around 5 bucks a megabyte to around $22 AUD a meg is still a pretty bloody big increase, regardless of the increments its found in. At 2.2 cents per KB, the cost still comes out at $22.53 per meg.

We’ve also been told that the information relating to “non-iPhone customers” will be changed as this information pertains to all both iPhone Prepaid & non-iPhone Prepaid Optus customers.

Original story below…

Prepaid iPhone users on the Optus network should prepare themselves for a change that could empty their wallet faster than you can say the word “YouTube”.

Effective from November 1, Optus will be merging the Zoo Browsing & Internet pricing to become something monstrous. Previously seen as the provider of choice for prospective iPhone customers, Optus are about to take a step into “no man’s land” by charging $11 (eleven dollars) per half-meg increments.

Until November 1, Prepaid mobile internet is being listed at 22 cents per 40 kilobytes in increments of 40KB, a result of around $5.63 per meg. Not brilliant pricing, but by no means the $22 per meg it’s about to become.

We were linked today to a page detailing new pricing for Prepaid Mobile Internet on the Optus network. The page lists non-iPhone pricing at “$1.32 per 60KB increment” plus the 22 cent flagfall, an increase from 15KB segments to 60KB segments that is sure to take a swipe at your wallet. Strangely, we couldn’t find any listing of iPhone related pricing and after an almost two-hour phone call to the Optus Customer Service line, we found out that the new pricing was set to be $11 per 500 kilobytes. We’re assuming the customer support technician meant 512 kilobytes, however.

Putting this simply, once you’ve gone over any download limits your plan has, downloading a 3 megabyte file could cost almost $70.

As of the time (originally) published, attempts to get contact from Optus regarding clarification of information had gone unanswered.

Currently there’s no information for the average user telling them just how many kilobytes are in a megabyte. With 1024KB in a meg, a person can easily find out just how much the cost of an iPhone usage on Optus Prepaid would be if the information was there in the first place.

But with the problem of having the Optus website not giving users just what the cost will be for their iPhone usage over prepaid plans, many customers will quickly feel the burn without realising anything has changed.

Sadly for Optus, this new pricing actually makes them one of the most costly providers for iPhone usage and is a warning shot to customers considering being a prepaid customer on the Optus Prepaid network.

Written by Leigh D. Stark