Let me ask you this. Have you ever actually read your phone bill? Charge for charge, word for boring word and even though your monthly phone bill may be $10-$15 extra, you still seem to dismiss it and bypass the boring part?
You are not alone, I do the same thing. Until a recent $183.56 Optus bill came, and that’s when the alarm bells rang. Let me tell you, it was a smack in the face considering my monthly bill with inclusions amounts to $130.00. So, I went through the painstaking task of opening my bill and reading every line of calls, SMS’s and data usage. Then there was MOODA.
Whaaat is MOODA?!
Mooda (formerly Smart Viral) and MIA Sphere Live are weekly subscriptions of $6.99 that give you access to over 150 games online. Sounds like a fair deal right? But is it still fair if you haven’t actually or willingly committed to an online gaming subscription. Not being inept to the workings on the online gaming world and personally invested in the matter, I wanted to get to the bottom of who this Mooda was and why they were appearing on my bill.
Here is what Optus had to say. I would like to personally thank ‘James’ (we’ll call him James for the purpose of this article), my handy customer service manager, for this information.
Me – “My bill is $183.00 and I have noticed some charges from a thing called Mooda. Firstly what is Mooda? And why am I being charged for this?”
Optus – “It is a third party subscription service. Well, sometimes we accidently subscribe to these things by clicking on adverts through facebook, maybe by taking a quiz online and even some charities will subscribe you automatically if you have donated money”
Me – “Well, now that’s interesting.” So tell me, how long has this been going on for then?’
Optus – “Give me one moment and I will bring your bill up”
***Patiently waiting for my bill to be brought up – please note optus “My Account” is currently and conveniently not in service – so I am unable to view my bill D:***
Optus – “It seems the service was activated in April 2017 but it was known as “Smart Viral” but it seems your new charges are from Mooda and these charges have been applied since December, so this mean you have been charged 7 times, amounting to $48.00”
Me – “Oh Awesome (I say this with a very bitter and sarcastic tone), are you sure that’s right? If so, what can you do?”
Optus – “ Yes, So I will block the service for you, right now and request to have the charges waived from your next bill”
***Whilst listening, I am thinking, this seems all too rehearsed, they have definitely done this before***
Me – “Yes, block the service and please waive the amount of my recent bill of $183.00”
The conversation ended in some other pressing issues relating my bill, but I don’t think you need to know about that.
It’s nice to know that Optus are reimbursing the fee by reducing your next bill but it is really not good enough. An estimated hundreds of thousands of Australians are being scammed by the ‘Third Party’ service and Optus is playing a major part in this. This needs to stop NOW.
Keep an eye out for updates on this and readers, watch out for Optus Third Party Subscriptions.