New Telstra caps to bring back bill charge

New Telstra caps to bring back bill charge

Summary: Telstra's $2.20 administration charge for paying bills face-to-face in a Telstra Shop or Post Office will make a pseudo-comeback with the launch of the telco's new Freedom plans on 29 March.


Telstra's $2.20 administration charge for paying bills face-to-face in a Telstra Shop or Post Office will make a pseudo-comeback with the launch of the telco's new Freedom plans on 29 March.

The new offerings to be made available to customers sports $49, $59, $79, $99 and $129 offers, with each carrying more value over and above Telstra's previous incarnation of caps.

However, Telstra has specified that customers on the new Freedom plans will be required to pay a $2 charge if they pay their bills "in person, by cheque or to receive a paper bill".

Telstra spokesperson Craig Middleton said the charge would only be for customers on the new Freedom plans and wouldn't be far reaching like the telco's previous face-to-face billing charge.

"[The $2 charge] only applies to these plans and it's part of the construct of the plan. There are other mobile plans that don't include that," Middleton told ZDNet Australia.

He added that the reason Telstra re-introduced the paper billing charge is to encourage customers to pay their bills online.

"We're seeing more people doing more online these days. These are plans that appeal to online-savvy people," he said.

Call rates plans will also be charged in one-minute blocks as opposed to every 30 seconds like previous capped plans.

Telstra Freedom plans

Telstra Freedom plans
(Screenshot by Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

New additions include the $59 spend level, which boasts unlimited free SMS to any network plus the $550 call spend. Telstra's unlimited SMS deal extends upwards to each subsequent spend level from $59 and above.

The $129 cap still includes unlimited talk and text to any network, but now comes with an added $50 of international call value.

The plans still come with bonus repayment credit towards a phone, ranging from $10 credit per month on the $49 Freedom plan, and increasing by $5 with each additional tier up to $30. Telstra told ZDNet Australia that the repayment credits had decreased compared to the previous plans to balance out the added value included in the Freedom offerings.

Topics: Telcos, Telstra, Tech Industry

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • So what does the Australian tax office say about not providing an invoice. Will Telstra maintain a copy of the invoice it rendered ONLINE for the customer to keep for 3-5 years ?
    So the price they should be advertising is $2.20 more - so is that false and misleasing advertising in providing for their duty of care as a retailer?

    We heard the argument 10- years ago that it would reduce costs, slowly Telstra removed the staff - to keep costs down, now not supply invoices in a timely posted fashion means you either have a screwed billing system or cannot afford paper.

    Email is unreliable and often up to 5 days late. I cannot use the unwieldy Telstra website as my spam blocker effectively recognises the content of the Telstra sight as invasive.

    Send an invoice like a normal business tight arses.
  • That just means that print your bill yourself. I am sure printing bill yourself not going to cost you $2.20 and that's a good savings.
    As a matter of fact more and more companies should offer online tax invoices and give credits towards that. By not printing you save environment take it this way..
  • The new telstra caps are ... dubious. For example, the $49 plan reduces the handset repayment credit from $20 to $10, increases call prices by 11% and includes no extra call credit!!

    Meanwhile, the $79 plan increases call value by 6% but call prices by 11%. (Yes, it includes free SMS as well, but I think that pretty much just brings it back to status quo with the old plan.)

    The $99 plan increases call costs by a whopping 22%, while only giving 17% extra credit.

    Has the positive trend of Telstra playing nice with customers started turning the other way again?