Prepaid internet rip offs

Just wondering how a prepaid modem in a box which states it contains a prepaid sim needs an extra $30 to get it started. When I last heard, the definition prepaid meant that the money one paid to purchase the product stating it was a prepaid product, meant that it had been paid for and did not need further payment at that stage. Am I missing something?
I have just spent two looong hours trying to explain this situation via one of the ‘chat’ areas in their demand for a recharge. Surely the $89 for one month and 15G (so I now discover) is a speck rich. As I appear to not have used much of the original data from the modem purchase, the $30 should be credited for the next month. Anything I can do?
I have finally given iinet the proverbial flick because of their continued bungles and poor communications and now Optus seems as bad. Both owned by the same country but that was all that was available here in this small rural town.
Surely these companies should not be able to double dip on everything.


Part of the $89 you paid is for the device and as an item $59 for a modem is not an unusually high cost but as for the rollover see the next paragragh for some comparison to Telstra’s offers.

Telstra have similar products in which the included data is either used in the 14 or 28 or 30 day period or is lost. To get rollover normally means buying and applying a recharge before the expiry date that include the rollover terms and on prepaid the rollover must be used before the next recharge or it is lost regardless of how much you have left of it:

(from Telstra website at and my highlight of the expiry period of the included data)

I am sure there are others out there who will rollover for longer periods and you would need to search for them. The terms and conditions in the mobile market are very much in favour of the businesses and we as consumers are bearing the brunt of it.


Thank you.
I do not use quite that much data. Managed on 4G each for peak and off peak for Uni so not using that at the moment. No one seems to have smaller options for older folks sans grandchildren etc.

Wanted to have Aussie- owned Telstra this time but nothing available in this town.

What I am really concerned about is the fact that Optus insisted on demanding another $30 before I could use the modem at all. They tried to deny it today but receipts don’t (usually) lie. The box did not state, in any form I could understand, just how much data was on the modem sim and all of my numerous attempts later to get access to my account were blocked… telling me that I did not exist or did not know my email or anything else.
A kind young chap at the local Woollies set it up for me and entered all of the info which Optus now deny having… perhaps it has all been sent…somewhere…! Had to have it urgently because iinet had cut me off (needed to change credit card numbers for a reissued card and they could not be bothered answering my numerous emails requesting help…until 3 weeks after the event).
I was fined afterwards for not paying my credit card on time! iinet still demanding money for no service. Is there no end to the cheek of these people?
Why do the authorities ignore these companies? They must be making a fortune with a little cheat here and a little cheat there…it all adds up.
Back to carrier pigeons I think! No fake news then! No scams and no smutty suggestions!


Can you give us a pointer to the actual Optus plan (and the old iiNet one as well). Perhaps with more information we might be able to help in a useful way?


I suggest you buy a Telstra device (Woolworths or Coles normally/likely carry them) but if not available in your area then can be bought via Telstra’s online store at

As an example only of the next step/s: then either buy an ALDI SIM (they can be purchased online from ALDIMobile) or have a friend get you one and send it to you. Register the number with ALDI as per the included instructions. Then purchase one of their data packs eg the $95 24GB 12 monhth plan (365 day expiry) and load it onto your account via your ALDIMobile account portal. To see the data pack plans see As ALDIMobile uses the Telstra network you will be able to use the Telstra device. You can use any data plan from any Mobile provider that uses the Telstra network so it is worth looking to see the offers. Many times this will still use an overseas business but unless you want to pay for Telstra’s offers you may have little choice about not using other foreign businesses such as Optus or ALDI.

Normally Prepaid mobile devices come with some data or credit as a sweetener in the packs but not all do. The SIM however will be included normally but even while it is a “Prepaid” option it may not be preloaded with credit and just means it is a SIM meant for a user who prepays their usage rather than being on a plan. From my reading of your post it seemed to indicate you did get some data allowance “$89 for one month and 15G (so I now discover) is a speck rich. As I appear to not have used much of the original data from the modem purchase”. While it may have expired sooner than a month, some are only valid for around 7 or 14 days when first activated. I am not aware of the time frame involved for your particular product purchase so it is a bit difficult to address the specifics.

I agree that the response you seemed to have received from Optus is not good and particularly when you have the proof of your purchase. The fall down in this could be that what was done by the Woolies guy may not have been what was actually needed and may have not then been actioned correctly. If you still feel aggrieved by the outcome I suggest you make a complaint to the TIO (Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman) including the details of the events and see what they may be able to assist you with. Make sure you keep records of all your contact with Optus (dates, time, who you spoke with and what was discussed), your purchase details (photocopy/scan any that could be damaged or that could fade), keep records of any costs incurred in resolving the issue, and write done what you did eg who at Woolies helped you and when, as all of these things will be needed to help support your case.


Thank you SueW (love the title) and Grahroll (love your possum…I feed the locals and am allowed to pat them), for your brilliant info. Need to digest it all.

Well, it must be another miracle! Just read an auto email from Optus telling me that the automatic payment ($30) for their service will be taken from my credit card within 48 hours! The chap at Woollies got it right after all.
Goodness me!! What a pity that the parties within that organization cannot seem to communicate effectively with each other. Right hand/ left hand scenario… Think at this time that I will stay with them until the weather is reasonable on a weekday when I can visit the Telstra shop in the next town.
Until then I can digest your very helpful information.

My association with iinet spanned 14 years. I started when they were an Aus. company in WA. They were brilliant then but things unravelled rather badly when the company was purchased by we all know who… A call for help would often take five hours to be answered …by someone in South Africa who would definitely have a great awareness of our local conditions, system shut downs and other faults.
Cannot for one moment think how we now have so many data breeches.
Back then I do not remember a ‘contract’ but if there was one, I would certainly have fulfilled the two year part of it… I had my landline with them so they have shut that down also. Great in a prolonged heatwave!
Did not seem to understand that if you do not even bother to read your emails seeking help and shut down net connections, you will not be able to receive payments. So much for the great intelligence running these organizations. Could not use the landline as I have a long thin Brown very unwelcome visitor sliding around in the room (now securely boarded up!) containing the phone…
All good here!
Thank you again for your help.


Another tiny update on iinet’s bizarre behaviour.
They have now apparently reconnected my landline and have been sending numerous robo messages each day asking me to call them!
Sent them an email advising that snakes are in fact deaf so their calls are wasted… (I infrequently make late night rapid raids into the room to delete theirs and endless beep, beep, beep messages).
I also advised them of my opinion (and no doubt that of other customers who have left ), of them and their lack of service and apparent inability to read emails within a month of receiving same. Stated that since all payments to them included advanced payments for the next month, I did not owe them any money and in fact did not wish to have any further contact with them. Have not had a reply thus far but perhaps when they finally read the email, they will ‘get’ the message.