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If your telco disconnects your service

Your telco might suspend or cut-off your phone or internet service for several reasons. They only have to tell you in some situations but you do have rights.

Telcos must tell you at least 5 working days before they restrict, suspend or disconnect your service.

They don’t have to tell you if:

  • you have gone past the ‘fair use’ limit in your contract
  • they think someone else has used your account illegally

When they tell you, the notice must contain:

  • information about their financial hardship policy
  • how much you need to pay
  • how you can pay
  • any other ongoing or extra charges
  • the impact on any other services you have with them

If they are going to disconnect you, they must also tell you that:

  • your internet service plan, product and/or phone number is no longer available
  • they may pass your unpaid debt to a debt collection agency or sell it to a third party
  • a credit reporting agency may list the debt on your file as a ‘non-payment default’
  • they may take legal action to recover the money you owe

What you can do

You can complain to your telco if you disagree with their actions.

They must treat this complaint as urgent for landline customers with a priority assistance service.

You can also ask for help if you are in financial hardship.

After you speak to your telco, you can ask them to review their decision if you are not happy. You need to give them clear reasons why they should review the decision.

If you are still unhappy with the result, contact the telecommunications ombudsman.

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