Optus Clings to “Most Distrusted Brand” Title for Third Consecutive Quarter

Optus Telstra Distrust

In a revealing study by Roy Morgan, Optus has held onto the dubious distinction of being Australia’s most distrusted brand for the third consecutive quarter.

Joining Optus in the bottom five is Telstra, marking a troubling period for Australia’s major telecommunications providers.

Optus: A Series of Missteps

Optus’s string of high-profile cyber attacks and outages has solidified its position as the most distrusted brand.

The company’s reputation took a significant hit last year when a massive data breach exposed the personal information of millions of customers.

Despite Optus’s damage control efforts, the cyberattack and subsequent fallout have tarnished their reputation, earning them the dubious title of Australia’s Most Distrusted Brand.

Further compounding Optus’ woes was a series of network outages that disrupted services for millions of people and thousands of businesses.

These outages not only inconvenienced customers but also raised serious questions about the reliability of Optus’ infrastructure.

The combination of these factors has fuelled consumer distrust and dissatisfaction, keeping Optus at the top of the list of most distrusted brands.

Telstra: Profits Over People?

Telstra, while not topping the list, remains entrenched in the bottom five. This ranking is primarily driven by public perception that the company prioritizes profits over customer service.

In recent years, Telstra has reported substantial profits, which, although positive from a business perspective, have been viewed critically by a segment of its customer base.

Customers have expressed frustration over perceived high service costs and subpar customer support.

Moreover, Telstra’s strategic decisions, such as workforce reductions and cost-cutting measures, have been interpreted by some as prioritizing financial gains over the well-being of employees and customer satisfaction.

Most Distrusted Brands – The Bottom 5

Most Distrusted Brand - Australia - Optus, Telstra, Qantas, Coles
Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). Risk Monitor, 12 month average to March 2024. Base: Australians 14+, n=24,663. Arrows with numbers show ranking change since December 2023.Green shading highlights ranking improvements for trusted brands, and red shading highlights ranking deterioration for distrusted brands.

Alongside Optus and Telstra, other brands in the bottom five for consumer trust include:

  1. Facebook/Meta: Continues to grapple with issues surrounding data privacy and misinformation, with ongoing concerns about the handling of user data and the spread of false information on its platforms.
  2. Qantas: Struggles with lingering negative perceptions from past scandals, including accusations of poor customer service, flight cancellations, and controversies surrounding executive bonuses amid operational challenges.
  3. News Corp: Faces distrust due to perceived biases in news coverage and controversies related to its environmental and cultural impacts, including its stance on climate change and influence over public opinion.

Optus and Telstra, like other brands facing reputational damage, have a long road ahead to regain public trust.

However, by taking decisive action, changing course, and investing in their customers and services, they can begin to rebuild their reputations.

The Path Forward

For both Optus and Telstra, regaining customer trust will require substantial efforts.

Optus needs to demonstrate a commitment to data security and service reliability, addressing the root causes of its recent scandals.

Transparent communication and tangible improvements will be crucial in rebuilding its reputation.

Telstra, on the other hand, must balance its profit-driven strategies with a renewed focus on customer service and employee satisfaction.

By enhancing the customer experience and addressing public concerns about its priorities, Telstra can work towards regaining consumer trust.


The ongoing distrust in Optus and Telstra highlights the significant challenges these companies face in maintaining a positive public image.

As they navigate these turbulent times, the steps they take to address the underlying issues will determine their ability to restore trust and confidence among Australian consumers.


  • David Everson

    Telecommunications & Technology enthusiast, I have worked multiple years in the telco and tech space, so have a strong passion towards delivering terrific insights.

    View all posts
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