A sure-fire way to incur additional charges on your broadband bill is by not keeping a tab on your data usage.
Optus, like any other telco in Australia, charges significant amounts of money for additional data. It is important for you to check your usage data to monitor your bills, and to avoid paying those extra charges.
There are more than a few ways to go about it. Here are some ways you can track your data usage on Optus Mobile Broadband.
The Optus “My Account”
One of the easiest ways to check your mobile broadband usage is to log into your Optus “My Account” via a computer. If you do not already have an account, you will need to register for one. You will be asked for a couple of things like:
- An active e-mail address
- Your date of birth
- Your Optus account numbers
- Information of the Optus service that has been active for more than 48 hours
Data usage will be displayed on the home screen of your mobile internet account.
Using the Optus SMS menu
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of switching on a computer, or if you want to check your usage on the go, then you can also use the Optus SMS menu. You can either use your mobile phone or your Optus Mobile Broadband connection manager. The service is available 24/7 and can be accessed by any device capable of sending an SMS.
You simply have to text ‘MENU’ to 9999 from your Optus mobile number. You will then receive an extensive numbered list of functions that you can choose from. Send the corresponding number of the data usage option to 9999. You will receive a message back that tells you how much data you have used. This service is available 24/7 and completely free to use in Australia. However, additional charges might be levied if you happen to be roaming internationally.
Calling the Optus Number for Data Usage Information
Optus also offers you the option of tracking your usage with a simple call. Optus have dedicated phone numbers for various services to ensure that the customers don’t have to spend their time navigating their way through audio menus. Similar to the 555 facility that tracks your prepaid mobile bills, the mobile broadband usage can be monitored by calling 133 937.
Automatic Usage Alerts
If you’d prefer to know what’s happening with your mobile broadband data balance, you can set up automatic alerts to let you know when you reach certain thresholds. The telecom operator sends automatic alerts when you reach 50% of your mobile broadband data. This is followed by another set of alerts at 85% and 100%. You also receive an alert at 85% and 100% of each additional GB of data that you use beyond your monthly package bundle.
These alerts are able to be sent as an SMS or E-Mail. If you wish to change the way you receive the alerts, then you can simply make corresponding changes in the ‘My Account’.
Be aware that the data alerts you receive are not generated in real-time. That means the alerts can only be used as a guide, as you might be using data faster than the system can track. It’s possible to directly receive the ‘100% alert’ message without the company notifying you about the 85% limit, and possible to go over 100% without a notification through very heavy usage. Alerts can help but they shouldn’t be relied on.
Keeping Track of your Data
If you are a heavy user, it’s a good idea to choose a premium mobile broadband plan that comes with extensive data bundles. For instance, there is the $80/month plan that offers up to 100GB of data each month. Anything beyond that will be charged at $10 for every GB of additional data. If you don’t come close to using your data every month, consider downsizing your plan. Either way, by using these methods you can easily keep track of how much data you’re using and make sure you’re covered, which can save you money in the long run.