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beneboi
9th December 2008, 10:53 PM
Hi All
I have recently discovered that the "included value" is not actually the value that you receive with these plans. Now what i don't understand is why do they advertise this included value then not actually give it to you?

now before i get all sorts of nonsense saying its because of gst i am well aware of this however why advertise it as included value when you only receive part of it due to the gst ( which i believe if you add up the cost per month plus the included value gst is charged twice)

in effect this is like going to macdonalds and ordering six nuggets only to get home and receive 5. then when i take it back and say i ordered 6 but got 5 am told, oh thats inclusive of gst you really only get 5 including gst of 1 nugget.

So what are your thoughts on this? i feel this is false advertising and we should be getting the advertised included value!

babypoppop
9th December 2008, 11:22 PM
i know this is terribly confusing due to GST.

Let's use the $49 cap as a case study. It has $300 included value, with calls being 39c/30s and texts being 25c each. All these include GST.

The itemisation in the bill however excludes GST in all their calculations. So, your included value is actually $272.73, and your calls and texts are 35c and 23c respectively. Calculations are made excluding GST most probably because of taxation regulations, where the amount of GST must always be clearly stated.

Therefore, in short,

39c/30s (incld GST) = 35c/30s (excld GST)
25c/text (incld GST) = 23c/text (excld GST)
So,
$300 included value (including GST) = $272.73 included value (excluding GST)
$49 cap (including GST) is actually $44.54 cap (excluding GST)

It's easier to put market with GST because the figures are round figures.

You are not getting ripped off at all.

Reubania
9th December 2008, 11:27 PM
Yeah, thanx babypoppop! It took me a while to get my head around it, and yeah, although it looks misleading, you are receiving what they advertise. Just the itemisation of the bill is confusing. But it all adds up and makes sense.

beneboi
9th December 2008, 11:35 PM
ok yes i understand all that, however the point i am trying to make here is that nowhere in the terms and conditions does it state that the "included value" is gst inclusive (and yes i have read it many times and even the optus customer help person couldn't find it) but more importantly if it advertises say $300 for the $49 cap or $350 for the $59 cap then i expect to be able to use $300 or $350 respectively of included value as the last time i checked i cant use gst.

in this sense it is false advertising as they are advertising a value which is actually impossible to achieve.

ashIV
10th December 2008, 12:25 AM
im on a 79cap with unlimited sms and 500 worth of calls.

opilot87
10th December 2008, 12:35 AM
ok yes i understand all that, however the point i am trying to make here is that nowhere in the terms and conditions does it state that the "included value" is gst inclusive (and yes i have read it many times and even the optus customer help person couldn't find it) but more importantly if it advertises say $300 for the $49 cap or $350 for the $59 cap then i expect to be able to use $300 or $350 respectively of included value as the last time i checked i cant use gst.

in this sense it is false advertising as they are advertising a value which is actually impossible to achieve.

Why would it not include GST??? Thats like telling your employer that you should be getting your full salary excluding income tax because thats what they offered. Is that false advertising too because receiving the advertised wage is impossible????

:thumbdn:

scruffie
10th December 2008, 01:24 AM
I thought it was the law to quote everything inclusive of GST. As such, its quite reasonable and expected that the stated included value is gst inclusive.

What confuses the issue is that the optus bill records everything excluding GST and then adds the GST later. My mind still spins when i get a bill!!!

babypoppop
10th December 2008, 01:54 AM
ok yes i understand all that, however the point i am trying to make here is that nowhere in the terms and conditions does it state that the "included value" is gst inclusive (and yes i have read it many times and even the optus customer help person couldn't find it) but more importantly if it advertises say $300 for the $49 cap or $350 for the $59 cap then i expect to be able to use $300 or $350 respectively of included value as the last time i checked i cant use gst.

in this sense it is false advertising as they are advertising a value which is actually impossible to achieve.

i don't understand why you are not able to use all $300 for the $49 cap because I am able to use almost $300 as I track my spending.

Plus, all prices quoated, as previously mentioned by another user who has replied earlier, are GST inclusive. You purchase things in shopping malls and they all included GST, without them having to say that. This is standard in Australia, and as mentioned again by another user, is a legal requirement to include GST in prices. This is so that there are no other hidden charges.

tcn33
10th December 2008, 04:58 AM
I thought it was the law to quote everything inclusive of GST. As such, its quite reasonable and expected that the stated included value is gst inclusive.

What confuses the issue is that the optus bill records everything excluding GST and then adds the GST later. My mind still spins when i get a bill!!!

You mean "to quote everything exclusive of GST" and yes, that's correct.

As for why it's added at the end - a) why calculate it hundreds of times when you can calculate it once?, and b) it actually works out in your favour, since GST calculation rules permit rounding up. (e.g a local call is $0.27 plus GST = $0.297 so they're advertised as $0.30. If you make 100 local calls, that's $27.00 plus GST = $29.70. If GST were calculated on a per-call basis, it'd be 100 x $0.30 = $30.)

nard
10th December 2008, 05:09 AM
if it advertises say $300 for the $49 cap or $350 for the $59 cap then i expect to be able to use $300 or $350 respectively of included value as the last time i checked i cant use gst.
You are able to use the fill included value. The price of the service includes a tax. You can not purchase the service exclusive of the tax. If you have a problem with that you should take it up with the commonwealth government not with Optus.

in this sense it is false advertising as they are advertising a value which is actually impossible to achieve.
So if Optus presented their itemised bills to you including GST would you still be complaining that you are not receiving the full value? Do you make similar complaints when you make other purchases that you "can't use GST?"

nowhere in the terms and conditions does it state that the "included value" is gst inclusive
Yes it does. The included value is calculated from the call/service prices quoted. These prices include GST as the conditions state. The conditions also advise you that charges on your invoice will be calculated excluding GST.


From Optus ‘yes’ Cap Plan for iPhone 3G Terms and Conditions:
Prices quoted are GST inclusive, on your Tax Invoice call charges will be calculated excluding GST. GST will be calculated on the total amount of taxable supplies during the billing period and shown as a separate entry.

scruffie
10th December 2008, 05:13 AM
tcn33: you mean, optus is trying to save me money!? :eek:

exclusive of gst? I am confused. i thought i said inclusive of gst? dammit you! you have screwed with my head. i am going to lie down. :)

scokim
10th December 2008, 05:15 AM
This 'included call' business is rather meaninglessly silly.
What does $300 mean - is it just some fictitious number ? It might as well be $300,000.:confused:


Why can't they use call time instead ? ie. $49 for X mins of call time.

richbowen
10th December 2008, 05:55 AM
My mind still spins when i get a bill!!!

I've been with Optus for years (mobile, home phone, cable, wireless broadband) and find myself calling them with bill-related queries probably 3-4 times per year. And each time I call them I ask the person taking my call to pass on my feedback that Optus billing is hopelessly confusing.

Has anything changed? Nope.

I now think their bills are confusing on purpose - it's like they know that customers won't understand it, won't complain and won't change carriers because it's too hard to compare other options.

Apart from the GST issue discussed in this thread, my other gripes are the way they break down the bill into the various components and the bizarre way they make adjustments when you change plan mid-cycle (the changeover bill always seems to be higher than you expect).

The only thing I like is that often the person taking my call can't understand the bill either and I've regularly had "goodwill credits" offered as a gesture of their gratitude for being a customer :rolleyes:

tcn33
10th December 2008, 06:14 AM
exclusive of gst? I am confused. i thought i said inclusive of gst? dammit you! you have screwed with my head. i am going to lie down. :)

Oops - yeah, you were right. For some reason I saw an "against" in there (as in, it's against the law to quote exclusive of GST) :p

richbowen: there's a change in bill format coming - the new ones are pretty crystal clear. Not sure when exactly, but I do know it'll only affect mobile users with the 14-digit account number type.

benixau
10th December 2008, 08:27 PM
This 'included call' business is rather meaninglessly silly.
What does $300 mean - is it just some fictitious number ? It might as well be $300,000.:confused:


Why can't they use call time instead ? ie. $49 for X mins of call time.


Because that does not include SMS, MMS etc.
And even when they give you a minutes (VF business caps are minutes now) they still dont include certain numbers.

No thanks, I'd rather have $$$ and then work out the value of the minutes (my phone does have a calculator of course)

NeoRicen
10th December 2008, 08:47 PM
Ideally you should be on a plan with enough headroom for this to not be a problem. Just my 2c.

Lumus
10th December 2008, 10:01 PM
Because that does not include SMS, MMS etc.
And even when they give you a minutes (VF business caps are minutes now) they still dont include certain numbers.

No thanks, I'd rather have $$$ and then work out the value of the minutes (my phone does have a calculator of course)

If you read the plan carefully you will find out your plan INCLUDES a number of SMS each month.

As tcn33 said you're actually getting slightly MORE value out of your cap with them calculating GST at the end of the bill than with each and every call.

Besides if you find you're going over your included amount call your carrier and ask them to increase you spend level to the next one up. Most will do it for you. Some will even let you drop back to you're original plan for no charge....

benixau
10th December 2008, 10:13 PM
If you read the plan carefully you will find out your plan INCLUDES a number of SMS each month.

As tcn33 said you're actually getting slightly MORE value out of your cap with them calculating GST at the end of the bill than with each and every call.

Besides if you find you're going over your included amount call your carrier and ask them to increase you spend level to the next one up. Most will do it for you. Some will even let you drop back to you're original plan for no charge....

You are correct however:
$69 Business Cap - 560 Mins + 200 txt
$69 Personal Cap - $650 = 750 Mins + 200 txt (excluding flagfall)

However, the business cap does include unlimited blackberry data or 250MB for all other devices. However, if you don't do much data why would you choose the business cap?

BOT - The truth is that the difference is going to be so minor it shouldn't affect whether you really go over or not. If you are going over, it's probably by more than $3

mattconnolly
15th December 2008, 06:23 PM
Calculations are made excluding GST most probably because of taxation regulations, where the amount of GST must always be clearly stated.

Optus billing department is a bunch of fools. I cannot think of a single other consumer organisation that lists prices and calculates bills ex GST and then adds the GST on the end. It's a great source of confusion and frustration to every Optus customer I know - myself included.

tcn33
15th December 2008, 07:10 PM
I cannot think of a single other consumer organisation that lists prices and calculates bills ex GST and then adds the GST on the end.
Except for my power, gas, mobile phone (Telstra) and iMS bills, just to name the first four I looked at. But never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

edit: correction, that was an Apple receipt for a calendar order, not the iMS.

The_Hawk
16th December 2008, 05:54 AM
You mean "to quote everything exclusive of GST" and yes, that's correct.

He was right the first time, all prices must be displayed as inc GST, since thats what the consumer has to pay at the checkout.


I cannot think of a single other consumer organisation that lists prices and calculates bills ex GST and then adds the GST on the end.

All invoices over $50 MUST display cost ex GST, show the GST seperately and then the total inc GST. (Under $50 don't have to but it's good form to do it anyway).


Optus advertise correctly with all prices inc GST, but when they bill they are mandated to break it all up to correctly show GST, since a majority of bills over $50 they will just set them system the same for everyone.

In the end you are getting $300 worth of credit at 39c/min or, as has been explained, $272.73 worth of credit at 35.45c/min.

beneboi
16th December 2008, 12:40 PM
Optus quote the plan ie $59 iphone cap to include gst nowhere do they mention the "included value" to be 10% less than what it says it is.

all call charges already have advertised prices including gst so why can we not get the $350 "included value" on a $59 cap plan instead of $318?

and for all those genius' out there who think that you benefit from gst being calculate at the end you are wrong! as soon as you exceed the "included value" the gst goes up.

tcn33
16th December 2008, 01:17 PM
and for all those genius' out there who think that you benefit from gst being calculate at the end you are wrong! as soon as you exceed the "included value" the gst goes up.
Why is it that inevitably when someone makes a statement about how they are smart and other people are dumb, they end up pwning themselves shortly thereafter?

If you seriously think there are different levels of GST on an Optus bill then I have a Powerbook G5 I would like to sell you. It's only $250, (plus 312.97% SEKRIT GST ZOMG).

The_Hawk
16th December 2008, 02:30 PM
all call charges already have advertised prices including gst so why can we not get the $350 "included value" on a $59 cap plan instead of $318?

It's been explained a number of times and you even agree:

the call charges are advertised inclusive of GST
the included value is advertised inclusive of GST

I think your missing this bit:

Your bill is shown EXCLUSIVE of GST until the total where it is added back in.


Lets see if I can explain this differently... Lets say the advertisements say call rates are $1 / minute (just to make things easy to calculate) and you get $100 worth of included calls on this "cap plan". Can we all agree thats 100 minutes worth of calls? Yes?

You make exactly 100 minutes worth of calls in this month because you like to use all your credit, and your bill comes in as such:


Total call time XX number of call totalling 100 minutes x $0.909 = 90.91

Total cost = $90.91
GST on $90.91 = $9.09
Total of Bill = $100.00


So you see an advertised $1.00 per minute really equals $0.91 / minute + $0.09 GST
And an advertised $100 worth of "included value" = $90.91 + $9.09 GST

nard
16th December 2008, 03:03 PM
Optus quote the plan ie $59 iphone cap to include gst nowhere do they mention the "included value" to be 10% less than what it says it is.

all call charges already have advertised prices including gst so why can we not get the $350 "included value" on a $59 cap plan instead of $318?

You are getting $350 included value at the advertised prices (which include GST as you have acknowledged.) You complain that Optus are being deceptive but it would in fact be deceptive and confusing for them to advertise the included value calculated on a different basis than the prices quoted. This would make it unnecessarily difficult for people to estimate their expected usage since they would need to remove the GST from the quoted call costs before making calculations.

You claim to have been under the impression that the included value as advertised was calculated without GST (in which case you should have been expecting to receive $385 value on a GST inclusive basis) but I find this very difficult to believe. When deciding which plan to choose did you really pull out your calculator and determine the price of calls before GST and then calculate how much cap you'd need or did you do the more natural thing that everyone else seems to have done and calculate based on the prices quoted and compare the results to the advertised included value for each plan?

I suspect that you did the more natural thing like everyone else but when you received your bill and saw the included value calculated without the GST you were confused and grew indignant because the numeric value was less than what you had in your mind (since it didn't include GST.) That's fair enough. The GST can be confusing in cases like this and no one likes to feel ripped off but this is not the fault of Optus nor does it prove them guilty of deceptive conduct.


and for all those genius' out there who think that you benefit from gst being calculate at the end you are wrong! as soon as you exceed the "included value" the gst goes up.
The GST does not go up. It's simply that they start to charge you the GST on the amount over the included value. You are not charged any GST on that portion of the included value that is over the cap rate. This again, is the source of your confusion. Were it not for the cap you would have to pay $350 including GST (of which $318.18 would go to Optus and $31.82 to the ATO) to receive the same service.

opilot87
16th December 2008, 10:54 PM
Optus quote the plan ie $59 iphone cap to include gst nowhere do they mention the "included value" to be 10% less than what it says it is.

all call charges already have advertised prices including gst so why can we not get the $350 "included value" on a $59 cap plan instead of $318?

and for all those genius' out there who think that you benefit from gst being calculate at the end you are wrong! as soon as you exceed the "included value" the gst goes up.

I feel sorry for customer call centre people that have to deal with the dumb ass customers like you. I could never do it. Optus do it how it has to be done legally and the way that makes sense to most people and the same way as every other freakin company in Australia yet some idiotic customers will still ring up and argue about how you are wrong and they they are being ripped off and will not understand and will not give up.

Reubania
17th December 2008, 06:43 AM
You are getting $350 included value at the advertised prices (which include GST as you have acknowledged.) You complain that Optus are being deceptive but it would in fact be deceptive and confusing for them to advertise the included value calculated on a different basis than the prices quoted. This would make it unnecessarily difficult for people to estimate their expected usage since they would need to remove the GST from the quoted call costs before making calculations.

You claim to have been under the impression that the included value as advertised was calculated without GST (in which case you should have been expecting to receive $385 value on a GST inclusive basis) but I find this very difficult to believe. When deciding which plan to choose did you really pull out your calculator and determine the price of calls before GST and then calculate how much cap you'd need or did you do the more natural thing that everyone else seems to have done and calculate based on the prices quoted and compare the results to the advertised included value for each plan?

I suspect that you did the more natural thing like everyone else but when you received your bill and saw the included value calculated without the GST you were confused and grew indignant because the numeric value was less than what you had in your mind (since it didn't include GST.) That's fair enough. The GST can be confusing in cases like this and no one likes to feel ripped off but this is not the fault of Optus nor does it prove them guilty of deceptive conduct.


The GST does not go up. It's simply that they start to charge you the GST on the amount over the included value. You are not charged any GST on that portion of the included value that is over the cap rate. This again, is the source of your confusion. Were it not for the cap you would have to pay $350 including GST (of which $318.18 would go to Optus and $31.82 to the ATO) to receive the same service.



AMEN.

Enough with this thread. The OP will never be satisfied with whatever answer he gets.