Telecommunications providers will try to help if you receive a bill from them and can’t pay it. They have to publish clear details on their websites such as:
- how to contact them if you have trouble paying a bill
- how to find a financial counsellor in your community
- how they manage customer complaints
Telcos also have a financial hardship policy. This helps people who can’t meet their contract for reasons including illness, unemployment or domestic or family violence.
They will work with you to find a solution.
If you make a complaint to them, they must treat it as urgent if:
- you have applied for help under their financial hardship policy
- they accept you are in hardship
- the subject of your complaint contributes to that financial hardship
They cannot take action on the amount you owe until they resolve your complaint.
This is one of your rights under the Telecommunications (Consumer Complaints Handling) Industry Standard 2018 and the Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code 2019
If you need free financial counselling or urgent help, see the MoneySmart website.
Special bushfire relief measures
Several telcos are now offering assistance to bushfire-affected customers. These measures include support and financial assistance, relief under financial hardship policies and help for front-line responders.
Information about the assistance packages available to affected customers can be found on the following websites: