Telstra announces price changes
Some customers will soon be receiving letters about changes to their fixed line and mobile pricing plans, which take effect from October 1st 2012.
Importantly, there won’t be any changes to HomeLine Budget access fee prices for low income customers, or our Pensioner Discount scheme.
We know there’s never a good time to make changes to prices but, like all companies, we need to periodically review our prices to ensure they reflect the cost of running our business.
Some of these fixed line prices have been unchanged for nine years, meaning they’ve fallen by more than 19 % in real terms (when adjusted for CPI).
At the same time, we’ve invested billions of dollars in what are recognised as Australia’s best networks. For example, we’ve spent more than $3.5 billion on our Next G mobile network, plus our investment in upgrading to 4G, at the same time as traffic doubles each year.
We completed about 5,000 capacity upgrades in 2011/12 and upgraded over 1,000 sites with 4G technology. We plan to do about 50% more again (1.5x) in 2012/13, recognising the need to continue to increase the investment to ensure our customers maintain access to a world class mobile network.
So what is changing?
The main changes for fixed line customers are:
- Access fees are increasing on half of our HomeLine plans. We are not making any change to our Bundles access prices.
- The price of local calls in most plans has not changed in nine years; however, from 1 October three of our HomeLine plans (Complete, Plus and Advanced) will see an increase of 2 cents per call, with the other HomeLine plans remaining unchanged.
- Calls to 13/1300/1345 numbers from fixed line services will increase from 30c to 35c for all Telstra customers. These have not increased since 2008 and, importantly for many of our mobile customers; the cost for 13 numbers is included in their monthly call allowance. Calls made from Telstra services to Telstra customer service numbers, such as 132200, 132203, 132000, 132999, 133933, 137663, will remain free.
- Our 0018 Easy Half Hour international calling service will be removed from 1 October. A small number of customers use this service these days, with other options now available such as International Value Packs.
- There are also changes to Business fixed line plans, including amonthly access increase for our not-for-profit and charity customers, which have not seen a change for ten years.
The main changes for mobile customers are:
Member, Phone and Casual mobile plans will change from 30 to 60 second block charging, making them consistent with the rest of our mobile plans. For example, a national voice call currently calculated at 50c per 30-second block, will now be charged at $1.00 per one-minute block, plus the applicable call connection fee.
There are also changes to some of our fixed, mobile and ISDN business plans.
Whilst an ACCC report released just last month noted, ‘average real prices for all telecommunications services decreased by 6.0 per cent in 2010−11, and were 17.9 per cent lower compared to 2006−07’, we understand these changes will impact each of our customers differently.
Telstra continues to provide a range of measures to improve the affordability of telecommunications as well as providing benefits of more than $190 million into programs in the community in the last financial year; including:
- InContact® service, now with nearly 80,000 customers; and
- Pensioner Discount Scheme – 1.154m people benefited from this last year.
This year also marks the tenth year of our Access for Everyone programs, which assists low income Australians and Australians in crisis to stay connected. Since 2002, we have provided benefits to the value of 2 billion dollars to people on a low income in Australia. Last year Access for Everyone provided special concessions for more than 1.2 million low-income households, rebates on Telstra bills for around 2,600 financial hardship customers every month, and distribution of around 112,000 phone cards through 356 community agencies.
Want to discuss the best plan for you?
If you have concerns regarding how these changes will affect you or want to check whether you are on the best plan for your needs, you can see all the plans at telstra.com, or call one of our customer service consultants on 132200.
Just a reminder that not all of our customers are affected by these changes. Those affected will receive a letter within the next month explaining the changes in more detail..
In the meantime, more detail can be obtained by visiting telstra.com.au/recent-changes