TELECOMMUNICATIONS

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For other telecommunications providers check their website.

What do the changes mean?

  • Extra assistance is available on top of the usual financial hardship assistance

  • There will definitely be delays and difficulty in contacting telecommunications providers

TELECOMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY

OMBUDSMAN

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What do you do differently?
  • Know what additional assistance is available and do mention the Joint Statement
  • Make sure the provider knows if your client has been financially affected by the pandemic and as a result are receiving government assistance (JobSeeker or JobKeeper)

  • The priority is to negotiate an affordable repayment arrangement quickly. If your client is keeping to the terms of the arrangement, collection activity must stop. The Joint Statement confirms this but it is arguable that a repayment arrangement always varies the contract and stops enforcement

  • Clients should not be deferring debts. Otherwise they will continue to mount up

  • Negotiate around cancellation fees for postpaid plans if moving to prepaid helps the client better manage costs in the medium term

  • When negotiating, consider the following:

    • Reducing the cost of the plan (if possible) for postpaid. This may mean switching plans

    • Consider cancelling a postpaid plan and moving the client to a prepaid plan. This may need negotiation around cancellation fees and phone costs

    • Confirm that no late fees or collection fees will be charged

    • Confirm that debt collection will stop and the debt will not move to an external debt collection agency

    • Make sure payments are affordable on current income

    • Consider the costs of children’s phones and changing those plans as well.