Financial Hardship Advice
Customers facing financial difficulty may wish to consider obtaining advice from a community financial counsellor. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) maintains a list of financial counselling organisations which can be found by visiting the below website:
If you are having difficulty paying your bill, please get in contact with us so that we can discuss your concerns and assist you.
Financial hardship assistance and policy
Financial hardship is a situation where a customer is unable, because of illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause, to meet their financial obligations with us but reasonably expects to be able to discharge those obligations if payment and/or service arrangements were changed.
Southern Phone Company maintains a Financial Hardship policy in accordance with this definition to assist customers experiencing financial difficulty.
Our policy goal is to put in place an arrangement with customers who are experiencing financial hardship which enables them to continue to have access to some telecommunications services while paying their account over an agreed time-frame.
Southern Phone staff responsible for discussing and constructing financial hardship payment arrangements with customers are fully trained in this policy.
How do I request a payment extension?
Can I request a payment extension online or do I need to call?
A payment extension can be requested online if your account meets the following eligibility criteria:
- Your latest invoice must not have a "Total Due" greater than $350.00;
- A payment must have been made to the account within the last two months; and
- You must not have an existing payment arrangement already in place.
If your account does not meet the above criteria, a payment extension may still be possible by calling our designated team on 13 14 64 (option 3).
Please note that an accepted payment arrangement may not prevent a late payment fee from being incurred.
How can I apply for a payment extension?
If your account meets the above criteria, you can apply for a payment extension by completing the online application form: https://www.southernphone.com.au/Forms/Payment-Extension-Request/
In the event that your requested extension date cannot be automatically approved, a member of our team will call you in order to discuss a suitable arrangement.
If you prefer to contact us by phone to discuss your particular situation, our designated team can be reached directly on 13 14 64 (option 3) during the following hours:
Monday – Thursday 8:00am - 6:00pm AEST
Friday 8:00am – 5:00pm AEST
What happens if I can't pay as agreed?
It is important for you to contact us on 13 14 64 (option 3) before the extended due date arrives if you are unable to make the agreed payment.
We will do what we can to offer a further extension but in certain circumstances, it may be necessary for some services to be temporarily restricted in order to prevent you from falling further behind.
At this time, you may find some useful information relating to our Financial Hardship Policy here .
Information for Financial Counsellors or Debt Recovery Agencies
If you are a Financial Counsellor or representative of a Debt Recovery Agency, please call us on 1800 356 227 and select Option 3. Alternatively, send an email to our Collections Team at email@example.com and one of our agents will contact you.
Please provide a signed Letter of Authority to act on the customer's behalf.
Arrangements made as a result of financial hardship
The fundamental principle of any agreed financial arrangement is that repayments be sufficient to cover expected future use of the service as well as providing a continued reduction of debt.
Southern Phone imposes no charge on customers for the implementation of a financial arrangement. In reaching an arrangement a customer may be required to:
- Acknowledge the debt and the obligation to repay the debt
- Provide sufficient information for both parties to ascertain what is a reasonable payment arrangement
- Indicate a willingness to reducing usage to a level that they are able to pay and take up relevant service options to that end
- Make repayments as agreed
- Use appropriate products, services and access levels, as negotiated with Southern Phone
- If any further financial difficulty is experienced, immediately notify Southern Phone so that the arrangement can be reviewed.
- In reaching an agreement Southern Phone will:
- Ensure that none of a customer
- Confirm that the customer is the person who is legally liable to pay the debt
- Refrain from credit management action whilst financial hardship arrangements are being discussed unless credit management action appears to be reasonable in the circumstances
- Explain rights and obligations under the terms of the payment arrangement
- Explain service limitations if service limitations are part of the arrangement
- Require assurance that the arrangement will be one that the customer can meet
- Monitor customer compliance with the financial hardship arrangement
- Not vary the terms of the arrangement if the customer is meeting those term
If an agreed arrangement is not kept, Southern Phone will:
- Take reasonable steps to contact the customer or nominated financial counsellor (if applicable) before taking further credit management action.