COVID-19, Money

COVID-19: Help with phone and internet bills

Published on April 6, 2020 9:51 pm, by

Key points

  • Many telecommunication companies are providing relief for customers affected by COVID-19
  • Relief options vary by provider but usually include things like no late payment fees, no service disconnections, extra data allowances and free phone calls for some customers
  • In most cases relief options have been extended until 30 June 2020 (from the original 30 April 2020)

Assistance options from telecommunications businesses

If you have lost your job or your income has fallen significantly because of COVID-19 managing your bills will be challenging. Many telecommunications companies are offering help.

Telecommunications companies all have financial hardship policies and procedures for customers having problems paying their bills. These procedures usually allow for things like payment extensions, payment plans, waiving of late payment penalties and sometimes waiving of bills. If you are experiencing long term financial hardship pursuing this will provide the best outcome for you for your phone and internet bills.

In addition, many telecommunications businesses are making extra help available including:

  • No late payment fees until 30 June 2020
  • No service disconnections until 30 June 2020

Major telecommunications companies are also offering things like extra data for mobile and broadband services and free national phone calls for personal and small business customers.

What to do if you need help

If you need help with your mobile, home phone or internet bill here’s what we suggest.

First, deal with more important and more urgent issues. Your phone and internet are important, but most people will have more important things they should deal with first – like their health, the rent or mortgage and electricity or gas bills. We also know that telecommunications businesses aren’t going to charge late payment fees or disconnect services until at least 30 April 2020.

When you’ve dealt with other more urgent and more important issues – and preferably before 30 June – we suggest you contact your telecommunications provider and request a further payment extension or for any other help they are offering.

Here is a summary, by provider of what’s being offered and how to access it.

Support by telecommunication business

Provider OptionsComments
TelstraMore detailsNo late payment fees before 30 June 2020
No service disconnections before 30 June 2020
Unlimited national phone calls for pensioners until 30 June 2020
Extra data allowances for mobile and broadband services. Mobile customers must apply for the extra data
Discounts for customers receiving JobSeeker Payments
No immediate action required for payment arrangements
Mobile customers request additional data via the My Telstra app
Request a payment extension
JobSeeker discount application
OptusMore detailsNo late payment fees before 30 April 2020
No service disconnections before 30 April 2020
Option to suspend post-paid mobile phone usage charges for 90 days if they aren't required
Extra 20 GB data for postpaid and 10 GB data for prepaid mobile customers during April
Unlimited data for home broadband customers
No immediate action required for payment arrangements
For financial hardship help use the My Optus App
VodafoneMore details$10 Stay Connect Cap plan available
No late payment fees before 30 June 2020
No service disconnections before 30 June 2020
Unlimited standard national phone calls until 30 April 2020
Extra data allowances for some mobile customers. Eligible pre-paid customers will receive a text message. Eligible post-paid customers must recharge before 30 April 2020
No immediate action required for payment arrangements
request financial hardship assistance

 

If you are concerned about the financial impact of COVID-19 or you are facing the uncertainty of losing your job or having your income significantly reduced we can help. Sign up to MoneyBrilliant and we will give you access to a host of tools and features to help you organise your finances and make better decisions about your money. We’ll also give you tailored insights about the financial assistance available from governments and businesses to help you face the economic and financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

You can register for MoneyBrilliant online at www.moneybrilliant.com.au or download our app from the App Store or the Play Store.

 

This summary has been prepared by MoneyBrilliant Pty Ltd (AFSL 492711, ACL 493068). The information in this summary is of a factual nature only. We are not suggesting or recommending that you take any particular course of action in relation to any financial product or service. It does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. If you need financial advice or taxation advice you should seek advice from a licensed financial adviser or tax agent. You may also be able to access additional information from the websites of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the relevant product providers.

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Peter is the CEO of MoneyBrilliant. He has over 20 years experience in banking, insurance and accounting. Peter has three sons, ranging in age from 16 to 3, is a sport and fitness fanatic and a volunteer firefighter. He is passionate about improving people's lives through making financial services more accessible.

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