On Wednesday 8 November 2023, Optus customers (and customers of Optus network resellers) were impacted by a national whole-of-network outage. The outage interrupted critical services for consumers and businesses. It also impacted essential government, public health and safety infrastructure.
On 9 November 2023 the Australian Government announced that it would undertake a post-incident review into the outage. Read the Minister’s media release.
The Review has consulted widely with industry, consumer stakeholders and relevant agencies, and will provide a report to the Minister for Communications by 29 February 2024.
The Senate Environment and Communications References Committee is also inquiring into, and reporting on, the matter. Information on the Inquiry can be found at Optus Network Outage – Parliament of Australia (aph.gov.au).
Separately, the telecommunications industry regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), is independently investigating Optus’ compliance with the rules regarding Triple Zero emergency calls.
Advice for consumers
I have been impacted by the outage, where do I go for assistance?
- Consumers who continue to experience connectivity issues, or who are interested in seeking compensation due to the network outage, are encouraged to raise the matter with their service provider in the first instance.
- This may be Optus or an Optus network reseller.
What if I am not happy with my provider’s response?
- If you have raised your matter with your service provider but are dissatisfied with its response, you can then contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) for assistance.
- The TIO is a free and independent dispute resolution service for customers who have a complaint about their telco.
- The TIO aims to settle disputes in a fair, objective and non-bureaucratic way, having regard not only to the law and to good industry practice, but also to what it considers is fair and reasonable.
- The TIO can be contacted via its website at www.tio.com.au/about-us/contact-us or by telephone on 1800 062 058.
What are my rights?
- Depending on the type of service you have, different consumer protections may apply.
- Information about your rights as a consumer can be found on the following websites:
- the ACCC at www.accc.gov.au/consumers,
- the ACMA at www.acma.gov.au/how-law-protects-you-telco-customer.
Can I get compensation?
- The TIO can assist consumers to obtain compensation from their provider in certain circumstances, for both financial and non-financial loss. Further information is available on the TIO’s website at www.tio.com.au/guides/customer-service/seeking-compensation