Flood relief packages from Telstra, Optus + more telcos: What’s included?
You might be relying on your phone more than usual right now. Fortunately, some telcos are offering support to help you stay connected.
This past week has seen unprecedented floods happening across Queensland and New South Wales.
Together with larger initiatives such as the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment that was announced, major telcos have also started offering flood assistance to those who have been affected.
Here's an overview of what's currently been announced:
- Telstra: 25GB bonus data for prepaid and postpaid mobile customers, as well as a wide range of call assistance and free use of Telstra Air Wi-Fi.
- Optus: 25GB bonus data for prepaid and postpaid mobile customers, plus a free interim service for its broadband customers.
- Aussie Broadband: Up to $250 worth of discounts or services for those affected by the floods in NSW and QLD.
- amaysim: 10-30GB bonus data, depending on your plan and free calls and texts for pay as you go customers.
- TPG/Vodafone: Pausing bill collection, suspension and disconnection in affected areas of NSW and QLD.
- Boost Mobile: Free calls and texts, as well as 25GB of bonus data.
- Belong: A month's worth of credit for evacuated customers, and a new modem.
- Dodo: Waiving certain fees, billing credits for non-usage, short-term and long-term payment arrangements.
- iPrimus :Monthly plan fee waived for 2 months and waiving other selected fees.
- Southern Phone: Payment extension and call diversion.
- IPSTAR: Offering support if you can't pay your bills, helping restore connection when the time is right.
It's in times like these that it's more important than ever to stay in contact with loved ones, emergency services and other key people.
We'll be updating this guide with the latest flood relief packages offered by Australian telcos as they get announced.
Telstra flood relief
Telstra has a range of assistance packages to help everyone, not just customers, as well as long- and short-term packages for affected customers.
Help for everyone includes the following:
- Free calls from all payphones.
- Free use of Telstra Air Wi-Fi in relevant areas where the service is available.
Short-term help for customers includes the following:
- Call diversion from a fixed-line service to an alternative Australian number (both residential and business customers).
- 25GB data pack for postpaid customers.
- 25GB bonus data and free calls for prepaid customers.
Long-term assistance includes the following:
- Free call diversion to any other Australian phone number (even if the number it's being diverted to isn't a Telstra service).
- A one-time credit to cover relocating a Telstra fixed-line service to a new, temporary address. The credit will also allow the reconnection of that service to the original permanent address.
If you need this support, call Telstra on 1800 888 888 and a representative will help you from there.
For all the details of eligibility areas, please visit the Telstra Exchange website.
Optus flood relief
Optus has announced a range of support for affected customers, including the following:
- A bonus 25GB data on eligible postpaid and prepaid plans to offset extra usage.
- Free interim services for both consumer and business fixed Internet customers.
Optus has set up a dedicated phone number for flood-affected customers: 1800 507 581. Customers who prefer to send instant messages can also contact customer support in the MyOptus app 24/7.
Service disruptions and more details can be found on the Optus website.
Aussie Broadband flood relief
Aussie Broadband has a robust and flexible disaster support plan that includes the following:
- Discounts or services worth up to $250 for customers who are severely impacted by disaster or lost their home.
- $80 worth of discounts/services for volunteers who spend an "extended period" working on disaster relief.
Aussie Broadband also offers other helpful services, such as:
- Free diversion of VOIP phone calls (though there may be other costs involved).
- The ability to set up a payment plan without having to talk to customer service.
Aussie Broadband's General Manager of Corporate Affairs, Janet Granger-Wilcox said, "Our disaster relief options are designed to be flexible to suit each individual or business needs situation. We regard our customers as family, and we're here to support them in any way we can."
If you're an Aussie customer experiencing financial difficulty at this time, you can contact them at 1300 880 905 or via the MyAussie app.
amaysim flood relief
amaysim's response to the devastating floods includes free calls, texts, and bonus data for its customers for all of March.
- 10-30GB bonus data, depending on your plan
- Pay as you go customers get free calls and texts
And, because the floods aren't the only crisis at the moment (the 20's are proving to be quite the decade), customers with family in Ukraine will be credited back for all calls made to the region until 31 March.
TPG/Vodafone flood relief
TPG's also offering relief to its customers during this trying time "while they get back on their feet", said a TPG spokesperson. This includes:
- Pausing bill collection and suspension and disconnections in flood-affected postcodes
- Long term support available through TPG's hardship policy
Note that Vodafone is now owned by TPG so this will apply to all Vodafone customers as well.
Boost Mobile flood relief
Boost Mobile is offering its flood affected customers in southern QLD and NSW the following:
- Free standard national calls and texts in Australia
- Extra 25GB of data on top of your normal plan inclusions
Eligible customers will receive a text message from Boost to confirm the offer, or you can reach out directly to Boost to apply.
Belong flood relief
Belong is working towards restoring mobile and Internet services in flood-affected areas. It's also offering additional support to help customers through this difficult period.
- Financial hardship assistance such as payment extensions, waiving fees you might owe and helping you transfer to a lower costing plan
- Evacuated customers will receive a month's worth of credit
- New modem for Internet customers
Head directly to Belong's website to apply for help.
Dodo's offering both short and long-term payment assistance if you've been impacted by the floods. Additional support includes:
- Mobile monthly base fee waived for up to 2 months for emergency service volunteers
- Waiver of monthly service fee for call diversion from your home phone service
- Free replacement and delivery for damaged modems
- Waiver of cancellation fees (for severe damage or loss)
- Waiver of standard re-connection fee at your original address or connection at new address up to $240
- Billing credits for non-usage of service if a customer can't access their home/service
Contact Dodo if you've received a payment reminder, suspension or disconnection notice, and make alternative arrangements.
If that's not the case but you're still being affected, call the provider on 1300 038 224 to discuss flood and storm relief options.
iPrimus hopes to help get you back on your feet with whatever relief options it can offer.
- Monthly plan fee waived for up to 2 months for impacted customers
- Free replacement and delivery for damaged modems and Fetch boxes
- Short-term and long-term payment arrangements
- Waiver of late payment fees
You can call iPrimus directly on 1300 097 143 to discuss its financial hardship policy if you need further assistance.
Southern Phone's also joined the tall list of telcos providing financial assistance. This includes:
- Payment extension
- Call diversion
- Financial hardship support measures
You can contact Southern Phone at 13 14 64 or online via its customer support chatline.
IPSTAR's response for its customers impacted by the floods includes:
- Helping you when the time comes to restore connection
- Offering assistance if you have trouble paying your bills
- Guiding you through flood relief packages
IPSTAR is encouraging customers to get in touch so it can "take away some of the headache".
Update on NBN outages
A lot of infrastructure has been badly damaged, so there has been a growing number of NBN outages across the 2 states.
Repairs by NBN Co are underway but will, understandably, take some time before all homes can be reconnected.
We currently have around 8,000 services impacted in the greater Sydney and South Coast regions following yesterday's severe weather and ongoing localised flooding in some areas. pic.twitter.com/DFO0gGNTOV
— nbn™ Australia (@NBN_Australia) March 9, 2022
We continue restoration progress with the number of services impacted by outages on the nbn™ network in Northern New South Wales. While we are making progress with restorations, some of the repairs required are quite complex and access is still an issue in some areas. pic.twitter.com/sMLjHiISs7
— nbn™ Australia (@NBN_Australia) March 9, 2022
We are continuing to restore the nbn™ network across flood affected areas of South East Queensland. We have teams on the ground doing the repairs and are experiencing an increase in demand for individual callouts and materials. pic.twitter.com/RzM9AYCfu9
— nbn™ Australia (@NBN_Australia) March 9, 2022
Further flood assistance
Aside from support from telecommunications providers, some financial companies have also announced relief packages and grants for customers affected by the floods. You'll find the full list of support available here.
If your home has been damaged by the recent floods, get in contact with your insurance provider ASAP to access support.
Note: We updated this article on 10 March 2022 with Boost Mobile's response for customers in flood affected areas in NSW and QLD.