Optus offers limited prepaid iPhone stock

Disappointment as registered customers missing out

Optus has offered only limited numbers of prepaid iPhone 3Gs for sale today, with some customers eager to get an iPhone having to sign up to cap-based plan on either a 12- or 24-month contract. Optus announced prepaid plans for the iPhone last week.

Long-term Optus customer Mr Carney was outraged when he was refused a prepaid plan by staff at an Optus store in southern Sydney today. Despite pre-ordering the iPhone and paying a deposit, Carney was unable to choose a prepaid option. He was instead required to pay a $200 cancellation fee for an existing Optus contract, and sign up to an Optus iPhone-specific cap plan. Carney said the announcement at the store caused around 10 people to leave the queue in frustration.

Another customer, and Goodgearguide staff member Khoi Bui, who joined the Optus queue at Apple's Sydney store said he was able to sign up to a cap plan but was not allowed to sign up to a prepaid plan. An Apple store employee said that prepaid Optus phones would not be available until the next shipment, which is due in one to three weeks. Bui said this added to frustration caused by a 4am server crash at the Apple Store that delayed the Optus line at the store.

Optus is currently the only Australian carrier to offer prepaid plans for the iPhone 3G; Telstra and Vodafone are restricting users to cap-based contracts. An Optus spokesperson would not disclose how many prepaid iPhones were available across its stores. However, she did confirm that the 16GB prepaid phone had sold out, and only a limited number of prepaid 8GB phones were available.