Huge change is coming for Telstra customers as reimbursement for an essential service still used by thousands will double
- Telstra says they more than double the prices
- The $1 fee for paying in-store bills is increased to $2.50
- The change takes effect on May 20
Australians who pay their bills in stores across the country could soon pay more than double for the service.
While most people choose to pay their bills online, there remains a segment of the population that must or prefers to pay their bills in physical stores.
Telstra has announced that a $1 fee for paying bills at Australia Post, in the Telstra store or by check will double to $2.50 from May 20.
That’s on top of an additional $2.20 surcharge that the postal service charges to mail the paper bill in the first place.
However, the majority of customers – 65 percent – who receive paper bills are exempt from paying the fee.
Telstra has announced that a $1 fee for paying bills at Australia Post, in the Telstra store or by check will double to $2.50
As of May 20, it will be added on top of an additional $2.20 fee to send the paper invoice in the first place
Retirees, veterans and those in possession of a valid health insurance card are exempt from 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 require special invoice formats, such as Braille or large A3 notes, are also exempt from the fee.
A spokesperson for Telstra said they are ‘not alone’ charging customers a fee to pay their bill at Australia Post stores, including other utility giants including Vodafone, Optus and Origin Energy.
“Australia Post charges the utility to process the payment and it is common practice for companies to pass this on to the customer,” the spokesperson said.
Retirees, veterans and those who hold a valid health insurance card or who do not have access to the internet do not pay a fee
“Telstra is not alone in doing this and the charges have been around for many years.”
Businesses are permitted by law to charge customers a paper invoice fee to cover the cost of printing and posting the invoice – except in NSW where state law prohibits this.
Telstra claims the rate they charge customers is “still lower” than what Australia Post charges them for using their BillPay service.
They also suggest that customers avoid the charges altogether by paying the bill over the phone.
The telco also offers a range of options for customers in financial difficulties that can be arranged temporarily or long-term.
To request an exemption, please 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.