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Mobile

Optus Monster Caps: Read the fine print

In the everlasting war to win your dollar, Optus has again recalculated its capped contract plans, calling these new plans Monster Caps. But as with the announcement of its prepaid broadband plans late in 2008, the devil is in the details, or monster as the case may be.

(Credit: Optus)

In the everlasting war to win your dollar, Optus has again recalculated its capped contract plans, calling these new plans Monster Caps. But as with the announcement of its prepaid broadband plans late in 2008, the devil is in the details, or monster as the case may be.

Optus Cap plans now come in four flavours: $19, $49, $59 and $79, with the two more expensive plans offering free SMS and MMS. The plans all offer generous call allowances too; the $49 and $59 offer $680 worth of calls per month, but only half of this allowance can be used on local and national calling (what Optus calls Optus2Anyone). The other half of the allowance is dedicated to Optus2Optus calls for calling other Optus GSM mobile numbers and Optus fixed line phone numbers, and can only be spent after the first half of your spend has been reached.

This means that before you reach the first $330 of calling allowance each month your calls to other Optus customers are counted as Optus2Anyone, and after you've exceeded $330 you'll only be able to call Optus customers for the rest of the month, or be billed at the standard call rate for your plan — 80 cents per minute on the $49 and $59 plans.

In comparison, 3 Mobile offers $350 per month plus $240 worth of calls to other 3 customers for $49 per month. Vodafone customers are also allocated $350 worth of calls, plus 100 free SMS messages each month for the same money.

This is truly mind-boggling. Separating the call value of Optus2Optus calls from standard calls is a great idea for a capped plan, but not letting Optus customers spend Optus2Optus credit at the same time they spend Optus2Anyone credit is sneaky at best. As is advertising the not-factually-incorrect "$680 worth of calls".