Oh goodness I just don’t like someone else being in charge of my account
Whether Optus or other over time (5 years in your example) there are often newer and better options. Less cost, more data, faster speeds, etc. These may be offered by your current provider or by their competitors. Simply continuing without checking the options could leave one with the same provider on an expensive legacy plan even if there is a cheaper option available offering the same level of service.
Once a plan expires, most continue on a month to month basis. IE you the customer can leave at the end of the month, but so too can the provider change the contract or withdraw it.
Our previous experience with Optus was they regularly sent emails advising of impending changes to plans. We left Optus shortly before they announced the major data loss (hack) last year. It pays to shop around.
I have as many accounts as possible paid by direct debit. Most (electricity, water, Medical Benefits, for example) always let me know in advance what and when the payment is due. Others (Netflix, Apple cloud storage) which are small set monthly amounts do not. I pay Telstra an annual fee ($300) by direct debit up front for my mobile phone. It has just let me know that the cost will rise by $20 per annum form next January! Still, good value at $6.25 per week (in my case) for adequate data and unlimited calls to fixed lines and mobiles both in Australia, the UK, USA and many other countries. I just never have to worry about missing a payment, no matter where I am in the world.
Telstra only gives 3 days notice with their Upfront Plans. Direct debit using cad or bank account is the only option of paying on those plans and everyone is being migrated across
Maybe this is something for Choice to campaign against? Ensure customers always have the option of paying via BPay? I think direct debits leave a person too vulnerable to banking details being stolen in a data breach.
I am the total opposite. Preferably, I would have no automatic charges either by direct debit or credit card charge.
You lose all control of when you are charged, and always have to remember to have enough money or credit available and in which accounts. And good luck in getting rid of direct charges if you change to different providers.
And the inevitable happens. Just last month my health insurer, who is only one of a few I do allow direct debit for payment, double debited the monthly payment.
Bpay or money transfer for me
Well to each his own. I’ve had direct debits paying my regular bills for about 15 years. I suppose over that period there may have been one or two I have queried and which have been errors, but then I regularly look at my two accounts (cheque and credit card) to see that there are no discrepancies. There was one recently, but it was not the result of an automatic debit, but something to do with a credit card payment I made at a restaurant. I noticed the rogue entry within a day, notified my bank, and it was corrected almost at once. It pays to be vigilant whether or not you arrange to have automatic payments made. The fortnightly “ground rent” I have to pay to the “Lifestyle Village” where I live is, of course, paid automatically. Why would I want to be bothered having to remember to sit down and arrange that every second Friday? The bank also notifies me by email that it has been paid as it does with any incoming or outgoing payment over an amount I have specified. What’s not to love?
You mean sit down once per month to pay it manually. From experience its better to pay manually rather than fight a wrongful direct debit and try and get your money back. We ended up doing the direct debit with Optus after my post and already they were going to take the wrong amount out.
No, I would have to sit down twice a month and go through the login and payment process which is somewhat tedious. And do it for everything else requiring payment as well. I can only say, lissimmo, that I have as many things paid for automatically as I can, and have had few problems over 15 years. I would never change. It is a very useful arrangement when travelling. As I say, each to his/her own.