Optus MD Sledges Telstra, Calls Price Hike ‘Tone Deaf’

optus
Image: Tegan Jones/Gizmodo Australia

Optus managing director, Matt Williams, has gone after Telstra, calling its recent mobile pricing changes “tone deaf” and “surprising”.

This article was originally published on July 24.

Williams made these comments to News Corp on Friday. This was part of a announcement that sees Optus place a price freeze on mobile phone plans as a response to COVID-19. This freeze will remain in place for the remainder of 2020.

“[The price increase] seems tone deaf in the middle of the COVID pandemic when many Australians are losing jobs or struggling financially,” Williams said to News Corp.

“It’s definitely not what we’d be doing at this time. Accordingly, we have no plans or intentions to increase our mobile prices and we’ll be freezing that until the end of 2020.”

Williams also invited Telstra customers to move over to Optus if they were unhappy.

The telco has said the price freeze will impact both prepaid and postpaid customers. It will also apply to new and existing customers.

Optus and Telstra plans

This move comes three weeks after Telstra announced its new phone plans. Most plans were increased by $5 a month, with its top-tier plan jumping by $15 a month. All plans were given a sizeable data increase.

Customers who move from grandfathered plans onto the new plans will be credited the price difference between their former and new plans over the next 12 months.

Testra also changed its plans to charge some customers extra for 5G. Instead, the service is rolled into Medium plans and above.

Optus’ postpaid plans start at $39 a month and come with 10GB included data. This is before you add in phone repayments. Comparatively, Telstra’s postpaid plans start at $55 a month with 40GB included data.

Both Optus and Telstra are offering financial hardship assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most recently Telstra has offered 25Gb extra data to mobile customers in impacted parts of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire.

[News Corp]