Skip to main content

Telco customers who need extra help

If you have additional needs, you have extra rights when using telecommunications products and services.

If you have a life-threatening illness

If you depend on your landline service because of a serious illness, you may be eligible for priority assistance if your diagnosed medical condition is life-threatening.

If you have priority assistance, your telco must treat your complaints as urgent.

If you live with a disability

If you need to use special equipment with your standard phone service, you can find information on which phone would be right for you on the Accessible Telecoms website.

Your telco must offer their products and services in a way that meets the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Their websites should meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.

Your telco will provide information that is clear and easy to understand to help you find the features, services and equipment you need and how they work.

If it is hard to understand English

If it is hard to understand English, you may be able to use the government’s translator service.

Telcos should also help by:

  • training their sales people to use clear and simple words
  • using plain language in their contracts.

If a telco advertises its products in a language other than English, it must provide information to help customers in that same language.

If you need help to pay your bill

You may need help to pay your bill because you have been:

  • unwell
  • unemployed
  • experiencing domestic or family violence
  • affected by change in personal or family circumstances, including death of a family member
  • on a low or reduced income 
  • affected by unexpected events or changes to your income or expenses
  • affected by a natural disaster
  • unable to pay your bill for other reasons.

If you are struggling to pay a bill for any of these reasons (it doesn’t matter if it is short or long-term), you may be in financial hardship. 

You can ask your telco for help. If you want to use one of their options for assistance, your telco must work with you to manage your payments and keep you connected.

If you owe money but are disputing it through a complaint, your telco can't take action to recover the debt until the complaint is resolved. 

Find out more about financial hardship and payment assistance.

If you are in a rural or remote area

For certain services, the Customer Service Guarantee Standard (CSG Standard) protects you from poor service. It sets timeframes your telco must meet when they:

  • connect standard phone services
  • repair standard phone services
  • make an appointment with you.

The CSG Standard also sets out how much the telco must pay you if these timeframes are missed.

Complain to your telco

You can ask your telco for help. You can make a complaint to your telco if your needs are not being met.

You can complain to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman if your telco is not meeting your needs.

Back to top