Mobile phone and Internet relief if you’ve been impacted by the bushfires
Free services are available to those affected by the Australian bushfires.
Australia is experiencing a horrendous bushfire season, with blazes causing destruction across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. The fires have severely damaged and destroyed thousands of homes and people's livelihoods, plunging many families into financial difficulty.
To combat the crisis, many mobile phone and Internet providers are providing relief to those impacted by the bushfires. If you have been affected in some way by the recent bushfire crisis, here's how you can get financial help.
Telstra is offering free interim services for NSW, ACT and VIC customers and small businesses that have lost service as a result of the fires. They also have a hotline for customers who have had to evacuate or have recently lost their homes. Contact 132 203 for more information. Telstra is also offering relief packages for those affected by the fires. Some of the services include the following:
- Free use of Telstra public payphones and payphone hotspots in the affected areas.
- Free call diversion to a mobile or fixed-line number of your choice.
- Free local and STD calls on mobiles at fixed-line rates in line with your selected plan.
- Telstra mobile customers who don't have a Telstra home phone can receive a one-off credit up to the value of $100.
- For those impacted long term, Telstra will apply a one-off credit up to the value of $500 to help cover the costs of connecting a Telstra fixed phone service.
- Waiving mobile service costs for volunteer firefighters between December and January.
Optus is providing a 24/7 contact number for customers affected by the bushfires: 1300 301 671. To support those affected by the bushfires, Optus may also offer the following:
- Extended time frames for Optus bill payments.
- Bill waivers in the case of extreme financial hardship related to the bushfires.
- Free suspension, cancellation or relocation of a fixed service.
- Free prepaid credit, which can be organised at a local Optus store.
- Free call diversions from an Optus fixed home phone to any mobile or fixed number.
- Optus will waive mobile service costs for volunteer firefighters between December and January.
Vodafone volunteer firefighter customers can call 1300 650 410 and have their mobile service costs waived. This will cover service charges between December and January. Vodafone's hardship policy can also assist those who have been directly impacted by the fires. Contact the financial hardship team on 1300 650 405.
The following services are available to Southern Phone customers impacted by the fires:
- Southern Phone will be automatically waiving January usage and fee charges for fire-affected customers, firefighters and SES volunteers.
- Southern Phone will also be waiving any outstanding debts and current bills from customers who have experienced property loss as well as a range of other services to assist.
- Southern Phone may waive your bill in cases of severe financial hardship.
- Free call diversion to a mobile or fixed line number.
- Payment extension to those suffering financial hardship.
Contact Southern Phone on 13 14 64 via online chat or email for assistance.
As part of Aussie Broadband's Disaster Support, those affected by the bushfires may be entitled to support including:
- Discounts and services valued up to $250 for any customer who has lost their home or been significantly impacted by disaster.
- Discounts and services valued at up to $80 for any volunteer working for extended periods to tackle the bushfires.
You can also use the MyAussie app or portal to check if power or connection is still online to your property, organise a relocation of your service and more. Alternatively, call 1300 880 905 for assistance.