Huge change coming for Telstra customers as a fee for an essential service still used by thousands is set to double
- Telstra says they are more than doubling prices
- The $1 fee for paying bills in-store will rise to $2.50
- The change will come into effect from May 20
Australians who pay their bills in stores across the country may soon be charged more than double for the service. While most people choose to pay their bills online, there remains a portion of the population who need or prefer to pay their bills in brick and mortar stores.
Telstra has announced a $1 fee for paying bills at Australia Post, in Telstra store, or by cheque will double to $2.50 from May 20. That is on top of an additional $2.20 charge that the postal service charges to send out the paper bill in the first place.
However, the majority of customers – 65 per cent – who receive paper bills are actually exempt from paying the fee.
Telstra has announced a $1 fee for paying bills at Australia Post, in Telstra store, or by cheque will double to $2.50
From May 20 it will be added on top of an additional $2.20 charge to send out the paper bill in the first place
Pensioners, veterans and those who possess a valid health care card are all waived of the fee. Anyone without an email address, access to an active internet service, or customers living in remote locations including First Nations communities are also exempt.
Customers who need special bill formats, such as braille or large A3 bills are also waived of the fee.
A Telstra spokesman said they are ‘not alone’ in charging customers a fee to pay their bill in Australia Post stores with other utility giants including Vodafone, Optus, and Origin Energy among those who do.
‘Australia Post charges the utility for processing the payment and it is common for companies to pass this onto the customer,’ the spokesman said.
Pensioners, veterans, and those who possess a valid health care card or don’t have access to the internet are all waived the fee
‘Telstra is not alone in doing this and the charge has been in place for many years.’ Companies are legally allowed to charge customers a paper bill fee to cover the costs of printing and posting the invoice – except in NSW where the state law prohibits it.
Telstra claims the rate they charge customers is ‘still lower’ than what they are charged by Australia Post to use their BillPay service.
They also suggest customers avoid the fees altogether by paying the bill over the phone. The telco also offers a range of options for customers experiencing financial difficulty that can be arranged on a temporary or long-term basis.
To apply for an exemption you can message Telstra using the Contact Us option at the bottom of Telstra.com, visit telstra.com/emailbill, or your nearest Telstra store, or call us on 132200.
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