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Optus CEO Slams Telcos' Immorality

Ray Le Maistre
11/22/2013

Every now and then, someone in this industry really tells it like it is.

The latest example of this is Kevin Russell, the CEO of Australian operator Optus, who admitted during an interview at an end-of-year media party that mobile service providers, including his own, have exploited "bill shock" to reap additional revenues.

He's not proud of it, though, describing the practice as "immoral." See what he had to say by reading this Sydney Morning Herald article, which was brought to our attention by our Hong Kong-based contributing editor Robert Clark.

Normally, industry talk around bill shock issues relates to the regulatory measures and use of policy management systems to reduce the likelihood of mobile customers unwittingly building up enormous charges. It's interesting to hear of another take on the issue. (See MACH Launches Bill Shock Prevention, EC Tackles Mobile Data Bill Shock, and FCC's Bill Shock Starting Pistol.)

And let's hope Russell is not pilloried for his honest admission.

— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

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Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg
11/27/2013 | 12:40:38 PM
Re: Peer response
Dreams of sugarplums???  Maybe pre-Thanksgivakuh smash up of latke-stuffed turkeys with dreidle pie?  It can be seen on the new Holiday mash-up channel available only through your local cable provider or via overages on your mobile plan.
MordyK
MordyK
11/27/2013 | 1:10:22 AM
Re: Peer response
Hey, I want whatever you had :)
Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg
11/26/2013 | 9:16:49 PM
Re: Peer response
Mordy and Carol...what was I thinking?  I must have needed a nap or something.  Change - a cable company?  For the customer?  OMG  what non-sense will I come up with next?
R Clark
R Clark
11/25/2013 | 9:54:32 AM
Not quite the first time
Russell has been quite critical of Australian telcos since taking over as CEO last year (previously at 3 UK). His main complaint is that the industry has been chasing customers, not on providing service and that they're well behind global standards in customer care and consumer perceptions.

Plus, he says, Optus shouldn't try to compete with Telstra on infrastructure, so customer service becomes the differentiator.

 
MordyK
MordyK
11/22/2013 | 11:16:59 PM
Re: Peer response
True enough! Next thing your'e gonna say is that you love your cable company? this is the real world were talking about after all :)
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson
11/22/2013 | 11:42:05 AM
Re: Peer response
Liz, let's not get carried away. Too much change just confuses people.
Liz Greenberg
Liz Greenberg
11/22/2013 | 10:51:21 AM
Re: Peer response
Or what if they not only did that but decided to value their customers and implement fair pricing and practices that enabled them to earn profits without screwing over their customers. Just a thought...
brookseven
brookseven
11/22/2013 | 10:38:16 AM
Re: Peer response
The Truth Shall set you free...From your job!

seven

 
Ray@LR
[email protected]
11/22/2013 | 10:23:47 AM
Re: Peer response
That would be fantastic, wouldn't it? A breath of fresh air.
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson
11/22/2013 | 10:17:02 AM
Re: Peer response
What if candor becomes an attractive marketing strategy instead of a reason to tar and feather the CEO?
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