We’ve all become so dependent on phones and internet, it’s almost impossible to think about life without them. If you're having difficulty paying your bill, or you're concerned about being disconnected, don’t sit and worry, take action. Phone and internet service providers are obliged to help people in financial difficulty, so get in touch.
If you're struggling to pay back money you owe, the first thing to do is to work out what you can actually afford to pay by doing a simple budget. How to work out what you can afford to pay.
If you can afford to pay something
Start paying the amount you can afford and get in touch with your creditor straight away to put a repayment agreement in place.
If you can't afford to pay anything
Call us on 1800 007 007 straight away for advice.
The sooner you contact your service provider, the better. They can make their services more affordable for you by offering options such as:
Get started with a letter template (Word 28kb) and request hardship variation from your telco.
If you feel the customer service department isn't helping, or you're having long-term financial issues, ask to speak with the hardship department.
Be prepared before you contact them! Read about how to negotiate payment terms.
If you can’t come to an agreement that you think is fair, you have a right to seek ‘external dispute resolution’ if it's available in your state or territory. This free and independent service gives you an opportunity to explain how, by working with your lender, you can get back on track with payments. Refer to Dispute Resolution (Step 2).
If your problem still hasn't been solved, or you're feeling overwhelmed, call us on 1800 007 007 to speak with one of our financial counsellors.
Been hit by a high mobile phone bill? Watch this video from the Australian Communications and Media Authority for some helpful tips on how to make the most of your phone and internet plan.
ASIC's MoneySmart website also contains useful information about choosing a mobile phone plan.
If you can’t pay your bill because of financial hardship, your home phone service provider can only disconnect you after they’ve done the following:
If a door-to-door representative persuaded you to sign a phone or internet contract in your home, you may be able to cancel the contract:
If the service provider refuses to cancel the service, contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO).