AUSTRALIANS ENCOURAGED TO CONTACT THEIR TELCOS ABOUT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Sydney, 16 July 2021 – The telecommunications industry has encouraged anyone affected by the current COVID lockdowns to reach out to their telco about financial hardship assistance.
Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton said “all telco providers have financial hardship assistance available for their customers who are having any challenges with their bills. We strongly encourage Australians to reach out and ask for help early.
“We understand this is a challenging time, and staying connected is more important than ever. Keeping Australians connected, including those who experience hardship and may be unable to pay their bills due to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, is a key priority for telecommunications providers.
“Customers should check their provider’s website for their ‘Financial Hardship Policy’ to see what’s available, and contact their provider with any questions. We recommend when contacting your provider you specifically request ‘financial hardship assistance’ to be connected to the right help as quickly as possible.”
What providers are doing:
All providers have Financial Hardship assistance available and must provide flexible repayment options to meet a customer’s individual circumstances. Financial Hardship policies are always available on a provider’s website, including guidance on how to apply for assistance.
In addition to the Financial Hardship assistance always available, some providers have specific COVID-19 assistance available for Australians impacted by lockdowns. These include free extra or unlimited data and pausing small business plans for those who need to shut down temporarily. Check your provider’s website to see what’s available and how to access it.
How to contact your provider:
Self- service options: Many telcos offer self-service online options, including via apps and interactive chat, where you can find out about financial hardship assistance or other options your provider my offer, such as requesting a one-time payment extension or pausing a small business service during a shutdown.
Retail stores: While Telcos will keep their retail outlets open where possible, in accordance with social distancing policies, customer numbers permitted in-store will be limited. We strongly encourage customers to first try online self-service options and check providers’ websites for up-to-date information, before heading to a store.
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.
Its vision is to provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.
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