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Methodology – Customer financial hardship in the telco industry: State of play report 2020–21

This page shows the methodology used for the research in the Customer financial hardship in the telco industry: State of play report 2020–21.

Data collection

The data in this report is provided by 11 of the major telecommunications providers (telcos) offering postpaid services in 2020–21. It was given in response to compulsory notices we issued under the Telecommunications Act 1997. The data for 2019–20 was sourced under the same arrangements from 9 of the largest telcos at that time.

Only 7 telcos had small business customers in financial hardship. They are included in the 2020–21 small business data.

Part 7A of the ACMA Act 2005 restricts our ability to publicly disclose information collected under notice without the telco’s consent. The information provided has been aggregated or anonymised, as appropriate.

All 11 telcos that provided information for this report had a financial hardship policy on their website.

Last year’s report included data sourced from 2 fewer telcos. Therefore, direct comparison to some measures was not possible. We also changed the definition of outstanding debt to be debt owed for more than 90 days. Data is also not comparable to periods before 2019–20.

Two providers revised the number of financial hardship customers for the month June 2020 in last year’s report. The data in this report references the revised data.

Data analysis

Data is analysed using descriptive analysis techniques and – as noted in relevant charts – is reported by factors including:

  • month of year
  • end of previous financial year (June 2020)
  • end of current financial year (June 2021)
  • percentage
  • number per 10,000 customers
  • state or territory.
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