In an overhaul of its home phone plans and a breakthrough in home telephony, Optus announced today that customers would no longer have to pay line rental for their home phone on selected new plans.
"Up until now there has been little opportunity to avoid paying line rental with the incumbent dictating the price people pay for the majority of lines in the country," Michael Smith, Group Marketing Director, Optus Consumer said.
On the new Optus $59 HomeOne plan, customers pay $59 a month and receive competitively priced local, mobile and national calls up to the value of $59*.
Line rental charges for a home phone today range from $24.95 to $33.95. With Optus HomeOne, customers will literally be wiping this cost off their bills.
"Optus has finally broken the shackles in home telephony - just like it did in mobile many years ago. In its true challenger spirit, Optus has removed the line rental barrier and taken away what has traditionally been a compulsory cost for owning a home phone," Mr Smith said.
Optus research indicates that line rental is a key "grudge factor" for home phone owners. It is one of the reasons why customers are increasingly choosing a mobile phone over a home telephone.
For customers with higher telephony usage patterns, Optus has introduced a $99 HomeOne plan which includes $150 worth of local and national calls and calls to mobiles.
In a second breakthrough, Optus has also introduced YesTime to home phone customers. On the new plans, Optus customers will be able to call any Optus mobile from their Optus home phones between 8pm and midnight for free (for the first 20 minutes of the call), allowing families and friends to stay in touch like never before. Since 1998 YesTime has been offered to Optus mobile customers only.
Also available on both plans is a new calling option, Optus WorldSaver, for customers who call overseas. Customers will enjoy rates as low as 2.9 cents per minute to Optus' top ten destinations for a fee of $5 a month.
"These amazing low rates are comparable with calling card rates plus customers have the benefit of a high quality service without the hassle of dialling any extra digits, running out of credit or buying cards," Mr Smith said.
With Optus broadband plans as low as $19.95 per month and an all encompassing $59 home telephony plan with no line rental, customers could effectively be paying under $80 for both their broadband and home telephony services.
"While Telstra continues its battles on the regulatory front, Optus is getting on with it - ensuring Optus customers are the winners and reaping the benefits of competition," Mr Smith said.
On June 1 2006, Optus will begin a national advertising campaign for the new HomeOne plans. The advertising will focus on the theme: Why pay for something you don't need?
Existing Optus customers are welcome to switch to the new Optus $59 or $99 HomeOne plans.
Optus Corporate Affairs
Tel: (02) 9342 9021
*Any extra calls above $59 are charged at Optus' standard rates and added to the same bill. Optus HomeOne plans are subject to a 12 month contract.