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.

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
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.

The most influential association in Australian communications, co-operatively initiating programs that promote sustainable industry development, innovation and growth, while generating positive outcomes for customers and society.  To create a co-operative stakeholder environment that allows the industry to take the lead on initiatives which grow the Australian communications industry, enhance the connectivity of all Australians and foster the highest standards of business behaviour.  For more details about Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Neeley Williams nwilliams@sefiani.com.au
0434 742 551