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Optus customers flock to switch telcos, but where are they going?

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Disgruntled Optus customers are switching to rival telcos, and more could follow suit as Optus reveals compensation.

Optus is under fire after a nationwide outage left 10 million mobile and broadband customers stranded for up to 16 hours. Some couldn't even call 000 for emergency.

Which telcos are people ditching Optus for?

Finder experienced over a 200% spike in traffic for mobile plans on November 8 when the outage happened.

We also saw a boost in people coming to our page for mobile plans that run on the Telstra network. This makes sense given the strength of Telstra's coverage.

Telcos such as Kogan Mobile, Boost Mobile, More and Tangerine confirmed their sales saw a significant increase.

Here's a look at some of the popular plans on Finder that people switched over to.

PlanPrice
Learn more
TPG 45GB$15 a month for the first 6 months, then $30 a month ongoing
Sign up here
Belong 40GB$35 a month
Sign up here
felix unlimited$20 a month for the first 3 months, then $40 a month ongoing
Sign up here
TPG 12GB$10 a month for the first 6 months, then $20 a month ongoing
Sign up here
Belong 25GB$29 a month
Sign up here

Compare other SIM only plans if you're also looking to move providers.

Some people went out to physical stores to make the switch. Others took advantage of eSIMs to sign up online.

eSIMs allow you to activate a mobile plan from a provider without needing a physical SIM card.

Not every provider offers this feature yet, but the list is growing.

More and Tangerine's CEO, Andrew Branson, confirmed the popularity of eSIMs.

"Following yesterday's [Nov 8] widespread outage, we have seen a sizeable bump in sales across our mobile plans, with strong numbers signing up to our new eSIM offering," Branson said.

"eSIM allows customers to switch seamlessly and quickly without the need to collect a SIM from a store or wait for it to arrive in the mail."

We're expecting the Optus exodus to continue as it reveals compensation details.

Is Optus's compensation enough?

The telco has ruled out monetary compensation. Instead, it will give postpaid customers 200GB of extra data as a gesture of "patience and loyalty".

Customers will have until the end of the year to activate the additional data, which will be available from Monday, 13 November.

Optus offers 220GB for $69 a month. That's the closest value you can put to its compensation.

The issue is that's more data than most of us need.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the average person uses around 10.2GB monthly.

Prepaid customers will get unlimited data on the weekends for the rest of the year starting from 18 November. That's roughly 7 weekends.

This may not dig Optus out of its hole.

It doesn't help that it suffered a staggering cyber attack in late 2022 where 9.8 million customer records were exposed.

During this period, it came under fire for poorly handling the situation.

A similar situation seems to be unravelling now. Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin will have to front a senate inquiry.

The industry watchdog has also said it could force Optus to pay up if the telco refuses to settle claims from customers.

Outage or not, it's always a good idea to take stock of your mobile plan and see if it's meeting your needs for data, coverage and price. Compare mobile plans and take advantage of deals.

Image: @PP via Canva.com

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