Understanding Advanced & Multiple Charges On Your Bill

Confused with your bill? Not sure why you've received multiple charges this month? Haven't received your full plan value?

When you connect or change your service the bill that follows can be higher than expected. This is usually due to one-off connection, delivery and/or equipment fees, however it can also be due to pro-rata and advanced billing, which appear as multiple charges. To understand these charges, checkout the following topics:

Understanding your monthly/recurring charges

Step 1: Confirm your bill's invoice/usage period

  • Your bill's 'Invoice Period' is in the top right hand corner of each page of your bill. (Except Page 2)
  • The bill will include data used, SMS, MMS and calls made from your service between these dates

Image showing location of usage period on bills

Step 2: View your recurring/monthly charges

Monthly charges are itemised from Pages 2/3 of your bills, in the following sections:

  • Home Phone / Home Broadband bills: In the 'Line Rental / Network Access' section
  • Mobile Phone / Mobile Broadband bills: In the 'Recurring Charges' section

Image showing location of monthly charges

Step 3: Compare the invoice period with your recurring/monthly charges

Compare the 'From' and 'To' dates of each your recurring/monthly charges with the invoice period of the bill.

If you've got repeated monthly access/feature charges, check the 'From' and 'To' dates next to each of the repeated items. You'll find that each instance refers to different charge periods.

  • The first instance of the repeated item is charging from the start change date of that feature/fee, until the end of this bill's invoice period
  • The second instance of the repeated item is to bring the same feature/fee one month ahead of this bill's invoice period

Home Phone Example

The Home Phone in this example was connected on the 11th of February part way through this bill's invoice period.

Close up of line rental charges for Home Phone bill

As the service wasn't connected for the whole invoice period, the first charge will be just 13 days worth of the usual monthly fee. ie. From the date of connection (11th February) to the end of this bill's invoice period (24th February). Charging a part of or proportion of a normal fee in this way is known as 'Pro-rata' Billing.

The second entry of each monthly fee brings the charge in advance / ahead of this bill's invoice period which in this case is the 25th February to the 24th March and is charged at the full monthly rate

Home Broadband Example

The Home Broadband plan in the example below, started midway through the bill's invoice period on the 11th February and is billed until the end of this invoice's period, 24th February ie. for 13 days

The second item is for the next month and is the full monthly charge.

Close up of monthly charges and prorata of a broadband bill

Now that this bill has brought the monthly charges in advance (to the 14th March) the following bills will only have 1 monthly access/ feature charge per bill and will include the full monthly included value, unless further changes are made to the service.


Mobile Phone Example

The invoice period for the example below is from 21st July to 20th August. However this customer's plan did not start until the 6th August.

As the plan was not active for the whole invoice period only a proportion of the normal monthly fee is charged (14 days worth); from the plan start date, 6th August, through to the end of this bill's invoice period, the 20th August Equally the customer will receive only an equivalent proportion of any plan included value (14 days worth) that is included with that plan on this bill

To bring the monthly access charges ahead of this invoice period, a second charge for a full month (21st August to 20th September) will appear, as indicated below.

Close up of Mobile Phone monthly charges and prorata

Now that this bill has brought the monthly charges in advance (to the 20th September) the following bills will only have 1 monthly access/ feature charge per bill and will include the full monthly included value, unless further changes are made to the service.

Why have I only received part of my plan value?

'Pro-rating' or proportional amounts apply to any included value in our plans. So if you're only charged for a part of the month for your plan, you equally, will only get a part of any included value/data offered by that plan.

For example:

A customer connects to a $50 mobile plan that includes $500.00 worth of calls and 700MB worth of data, exactly half-way through their invoice period.

The customer's plan cost / included value and data allowance would be 'pro-rated' as follows:

  • The customer will only be charged half the monthly fee:
    $50 ÷ 2 = $25
  • Equally they will only receive half the call value:
    $500 ÷ 2 = $250 worth of calls
  • And they will only receive half the monthly data allowance:
    700MB ÷ 2 = 350MB worth of data

The first bill will also charge for the next full month to bring the charges in advance/ahead of the invoice period.

The following bill, however will have the full monthly value included, as the plan has been active during the entire invoice period, provided no further changes have been requested.

Will multiple charges occur every month?

No. The first bill after connection or rate plan change brings all of your monthly fees ahead of your invoice period, so your following bill will only have a single monthly charge for your plan and any charged features. Equally you will receive the full monthly included value that your new plan entitles you to, provided you've made no further changes to your account.

What happens to charges billed in advance, if I change or disconnect my service?

If you change your rate plan, remove a charged feature (eg. voicemail) or disconnect your service, a credit or 'adjustment' for any unused period of the charge will appear on your next bill, after the change.

What else can cause partial/multiple monthly charges to appear?

Multiple monthly access/feature charges can show on a bill after:

  • A service is connected, reconnected or relocated
  • A rate plan or charged feature change eg. Voicemail
  • A service is changed to a different account number (eg. Requesting services to merge onto a single bill, splitting services onto separate bills)
  • A change of ownership, or interruption of a service
  • A change to your bill cycle (invoice period)

Please note: All plans, charges and benefits shown in this article are for illustrative purposes only and may not reflect actual products offered by Optus.