At Telstra we strive to keep our customers connected, and this includes people who are experiencing financial difficulties. We understand this can happen and is normally due to a distressing time in your life. This maybe due to losing your employment, the passing of the main income earner in the house hold or even the breakdown of a relationship just to name a few. So at Telstra we have a specialised team who manage our customers in hardship and this is based on the Access for Everyone program.

I sit next to the hardship team I have to say, I am amazed every day how professional, compassionate and helpful each and every member of the team are.

Courtesy of a team member Geoffrey Claridge below is the process in a nutshell.

Helping the customer to balance their current situation, debt and service level with flexibility, understanding and compassion.

When a customer calls we listen to our customer and ask questions to allow us to see a snapshot of the customer’s situation.

We find out what has happened to the customer without being too intrusive or getting too much detail.

We review the customers

  1. Payment History.
  2. Current debt level.
  3. Average usage history
  4. Number and type of services
  5. What they can afford
  6. We also consider the customer’s needs.

After consideration of these things we formulate alternative options for the customer to consider.

We aim to assist the customer through their time of need with flexible payment solutions. We seek to keep the customer connected while allowing the customer to maintain their usage and reducing their debt. This may include reverting a mobile phone from post paid to pre-paid or even cancelling some non essential services. These are worst case scenarios.

Some of the services offered are:

InContact is a free limited service that offers incoming calls but restricts outgoing calls. Telstra customer service, service difficulties and fault numbers can be called.

No bills for your mobile phone. You control the cost of your mobile phone service.

Telstra’s prepaid calling card allows guests to make calls on a pre-paid basis, with the flexibility of being able to use the card from almost anywhere.

This aims to provide a phone service for people who seek shelter within emergency accommodation (one service only per property).

The program is designed to assist specific householders in maintaining access to a telephone service when difficulties arise.

CentrePay is a direct deduction facility offered by Centrelink to customers, who may choose to pay some household bills and other essential services.

Homeline Budget offers has a line rental plan that provides a relatively lower line rental price than standard services with higher call prices. It is designed for Telstra residential customers with just one fixed line service who make very few calls.

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