Telstra charge for paying cash

Can Telstra charge for paying a bill in cash?

concerned older man working out his expenses

Toby has noticed a charge of $3.20 on his Telstra bill, just because he pays in cash, and he would like to know if this is allowed?

Q. Toby

I am a pensioner and I recently paid my Telstra account by cash at an Australia Post outlet. On my next account there was an additional fee of $3.20 with a notation ‘Fee for your last Non-Electronic Payment’. Can it really do this? I thought cash was legal tender and should be accepted for any payment of any account. What would happen if one didn't have a computer to pay electronically? Extending this theory it could become ludicrous if every shop and gas station, etc., charged extra for paying by cash.

A. Telstra can and do, as you are aware, charge for non-electronic payments. In fact, the charge has just increased from $2 to $3.20.

If you are registered for Telstra’s Pensioner Discount, Disability Equipment Program or hold an Australian Government Health Care Card, then you should not be charged this fee.

If you do not have an email address or access to a computer, you can arrange to pay your bill by direct debit to avoid the fee.

You can find out more at Telstra.com.au

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    COMMENTS

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    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    10:17am
    The Telecommunications Ombudsman is beginning to look just like the impotent ASIC and the dead in the water ACCC. I understand that funding is being withdrawn from the current government and it sounds more like a case of big business (Telstra and Optus) pulling strings to get the regulator off their backs than anything else.
    Both of the above companies are effectively run by overseas Call Centres. When you have a problem the monkeys then make all sorts of promises and then pass you on to the next monkey who repeats the process. So what we get is businesses running under remote control with all sorts of things going wrong and nobody there or with an interest in fixing them. Having had my phone and internet cut off without reason or explanation I dealt with the monkeys. 7 Hours straight. And after 1 month there is still no service. That is what Australians a getting with the label 'customer service'.
    I am not surprised about being charged for cash. What else do you expect when monkeys are put in charge of a business. Australians have other options as there are other carriers who do a better job from what I am told. The above two are dinosaurs awaiting extinction.
    Pablo
    7th Mar 2016
    10:42am
    Bastards named Telstra! They don't even know how to spell S.E.R.V.I.C.E. And when you ring this and many other businesses all you get is a little Indian named Bill" and you can't understand him and he can't understand you!!!! If I was the one in Government who made the decisions, I would charge Telstra and other similar companies a "tax" equivalent to what they save by taking their call centres to india. When credit cards first came in, it was illegal to charge different rates to purchase the same product depending on what method you used to pay! But this has somehow disappeared into the ether and they couldn't wait to start charging us differently depending on how we paid. As I said at the beginning of this comment - BASTARDS!
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    10:58am
    Use the ballot box. Changing bad government, a debatable question, is what the ballot box is for. That's where contacting candidates with 'what is your position on this matter' helps. Sure they'll lie to get your vote but it enough people did exactly this the bastards would have much less room to move.
    Hairy
    7th Mar 2016
    11:02am
    My dear departed father once said,boy they will charge you to crap in the future.cant believe he could be right.as for Telstra had enough of those mongrels 20years ago
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    11:30am
    Go to Greece. Quite literally!
    Gra
    11th Mar 2016
    11:15am
    I have to say I have been with Telstra for over 45 years and have never had any issues with them.
    Any faults that have arisen with equipment or our service have been resolved to my complete satisfaction promptly.
    The option is there for everyone who has a computer to receive their accounts by email - I don't know why someone wouldn't avail themselves of that service. I save my bills in a folder in my email account so they are there at an instant to refer to if I need to. Much better than having to wade through a stack of paper accounts.
    Gra
    11th Mar 2016
    11:22am
    It isn't that hard to set up a Direct Debit method of payment either. That way no matter where you are, you can rest assured your account has been paid.
    Gra
    11th Mar 2016
    11:22am
    It isn't that hard to set up a Direct Debit method of payment either. That way no matter where you are, you can rest assured your account has been paid.
    shirboy
    7th Mar 2016
    11:29am
    I have been with Optus for about 13years & I have always been impressed with their service. Also for being a loyal customer I have been given a free years & a 6 month magazine subscription & late last year a free apple iphone 5C. I bet Telstra has never given away anything because they are too busy making their $ billions
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    11:38am
    So had I! Then 2 years ago Optus cut off my phone. No reason. It was on within a week. Fair enough....of sorts.
    The exactly 4 weeks ago same thing. I personally spent 7 hours straight on Skype and chat with Optus but 4 weeks later still no phone. Other people in the family did likewise. The wash-up of this is that I was routinely transferred around the Indian Call Centre with each new (so called) customer service representative asking for an ID check and to be told the story from scratch. ANd then promised return phone calls did not happen. One guy even hung up because he did not know what to do.
    The matter is currently with the Ombudsman's Office. But of course the current government is starving bodies that regulate business so nothing happening there either.
    I am happy you have had no problems with Optus shirlboy. I was the same. But when something goes wrong then you will be expendable. You may be lucky but I tell you with certainty that Optus has shown its true colours. When something goes wrong it won't be their problem. It'll be yours. And Optus does not give a sh*t!! Sorry for the superlative. It's been tough....with no end in sight.
    KSS
    7th Mar 2016
    1:48pm
    Mick remember that Optus is owned by Singtel Optus and has been since 2001 so I am not sure what you expect the Australian Government to do about their shoddy service. Perhaps a complaint to the Singapore Government might have more success.......
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    2:33pm
    This government is not going to weigh in either way. It is a rubber stamp for business because guess who owns it?
    The Ombudsman's Office on the other hand has been set up to police bad behaviour after decades of telcos getting away with murder. The way out for this morally corrupt government is to starve this body of funding so that it becomes unfunctional. Problem solved!
    Gra
    11th Mar 2016
    11:07am
    Optus aren't all they are cracked up to be either. My granddaughter bought a mobile phone on an Optus contract years ago and when she found she couldn't handle the monthly account costs she arranged with them to change to a prepaid service. She had to pay so much to buy out the phone component and so much for cancelling the contract. Turned out they had overcharged her for those. It wasn't until about 6 months down the track a letter arrived in the mail saying she owed about $35. When she went back and checked emails she had got each month which showed a zero dollar amount due on the first page, she went further into them and Optus had still been billing her the monthly usage charges. It took intervention from the Ombudsman before they agreed to refund the money they had misappropriated.
    mogo51
    7th Mar 2016
    11:32am
    Years ago I was away interstate on business and wanted to deposit some cash into Commonwealth Bank after a trade show. I went to the Perth Commonwealth bank and they wanted to charge me a fee to deposit my onwmoney
    I told them to cancel my account immediately and they rescinded the fee. I came back to the East Coast and changed banks. The gentleman should show his displeasure and move elsewhere. with his service.
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    11:46am
    As far as Optus is concerned subscribers of this company need to read the above account. Not pretty. But this is the Optus business model and all the gloss and advertising cannot hide the fact that once something goes wrong YOU will be the victim....and Optus does not care.
    jackie
    7th Mar 2016
    12:04pm
    Everything is legal when it comes to ripping off the consumer these days.
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    2:34pm
    Only because the public is apathetic and does not punish bad government in the obvious way. Why do you think the ballot box was brought in?
    Sun & Health
    7th Mar 2016
    12:06pm
    I pay my Optus bill electronically and am charged for this.
    How do you avoid extra charges?
    Your damned if you do and damned if you don't!
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    12:19pm
    Understand. I felt the same way for years. But this pales into insignificance when you read my account above. This company does not deserve its customers.
    KSS
    7th Mar 2016
    12:52pm
    Yes Sun and Health, I do the same and get charged for paying my bill on time via EFT. The only way to avoid this charge with Optus is to agree to direct debit. I refuse to do that because it gives them direct access to your bank account and once instigated, DDs are (or can be) difficult to cancel unless the beneficiary agrees!
    Sundays
    7th Mar 2016
    1:46pm
    We pay by credit card which Optus deducts each month. No fee as we pay our card in full. I'm happy with this arrangement
    MICK
    7th Mar 2016
    2:38pm
    Until what happened to me happens to you. Believe me when I say that Optus is run by monkeys and that the Indian Call Centre cannot handle anything other than the most basic of issues. Be happy but be warned!
    KSS
    7th Mar 2016
    2:52pm
    yes Sunday you are paying by direct debit from your credit card so no fee from Optus applies.
    PlanB
    7th Mar 2016
    2:48pm
    I pay electronically but I believe if you pay by Credit card they charge a fee so I set my account to pay on a certain day, it is getting quite ridiculous and heading a cashless society it really **^^%$ me off
    seadog
    7th Mar 2016
    2:50pm
    When calling a service provider and you end up in an Indian call centre ask for the Australian supervisor and keep repeating it until you get one. They all do have an Australian supervisor
    looking over the call centre's
    PlanB
    7th Mar 2016
    2:54pm
    Thanks for that seadog.

    I know that if you keep pressing the 0 you will get on to an operator
    BtL
    7th Mar 2016
    2:52pm
    I am on a plan with Telstra and I keep it in credit by one month's instalment so that, when the bill is issued, shows the account has been paid. I pay the amount of the advance instalment in cash at a Telstra shop and am not charged any fee. I once paid the amount at a Telstra shop by credit card and was charged a fee!
    Wstaton
    7th Mar 2016
    11:34pm
    I don't have any hassles with Telstra. I have nothing to do with them and never will.
    jeff
    7th Mar 2016
    4:08pm
    I'll be charging them a Harassment fee of $20 month if they tried that on me.
    Jacka
    7th Mar 2016
    4:33pm
    the telecommunications Ombudsman its a joke of little use if any with respect to your Telstra bill I would ring them firstly if I can't get satisfaction I would be paying the bill either in cash or with a check (that should make them happy )minus the- $3 20. move to another supplire. Jacca.
    KB
    7th Mar 2016
    5:46pm
    Telstra does offer you several ways. PayPal is a free and convenient payment method. There are no charges involved.
    Wstaton
    7th Mar 2016
    11:29pm
    And the great thingwith Paypal if you have automatic payments taken from your credit card with them you can stop it anytime.

    You just have to cancel it in your paypal account.

    I started this after numerous hassles stopping auto payments direct to my credit card.
    Jolly
    7th Mar 2016
    6:30pm
    You have an Internet connection. Depending on your internet confidence, you can register with you bank for BPay(or you can go into the bank and they will help you. Then when you get you Telstra Bill just go on line and pay with BPay. There will be a code on your bill, so take that to the bank branch. Don't listen to all the no knowers on here.
    PlanB
    7th Mar 2016
    6:40pm
    The point is that not everyone uses a computer -- I know many much YOUNGER than I that have no idea about computers
    Jolly
    7th Mar 2016
    7:01pm
    Oh and I am a Proud Telstra employee.
    margw5
    7th Mar 2016
    10:26pm
    It's funny how money is Legal Tender, but more and more companies are not accepting it as payment.
    I recently had to get a visa as I was going away, and had to pay by credit card.
    I also have a cheque book (not outdated yet, folks!) and pay some bills by cheque as a percentage is charged by using credit/debit cards.
    I used to belong to a Union, and had the choice of paying by direct debit, cash, card, or cheque. I used to pay by cheque, and one of the union officials at their office rang me constantly to "tell" me that they don't accept cash or cheque payments even though this was one of the means of payment printed on their paperwork! After more phone calls, and a few choice words from me, I withdrew my membership. I feel for the older people who don't have credit cards or computer access. Money is money - whatever form as long as it's legal!
    Not Senile Yet!
    8th Mar 2016
    6:05am
    Ever since they put the Yank in charge of Telstra Customer Service went out the window because he stated clearly " that it doe not bring in extra revenue".
    Telstra has been Americanised through Policy adaption......most left them after he sacked people left right & centre.....because no one was left to fix anything!!!
    Unfortunately.....the best option is to Dump them!!!
    If enough people stopped being loyal as companies have....and just ditched them....took your business elsewhere......then they might change!!!!
    No customers...no income!!!
    But them we oldies are slow to relearn what we already know......A Lemon is a Lemon & a peach is a Peach...just like a bad Company is a Bad Company or a Bad Deal Is a Bad Deal!
    Take your Business to someone who appreciates it enough to care about keeping it!!!
    Jolly
    8th Mar 2016
    5:44pm
    What a load of Bu*****t you are over Senile. I am a Telstra employee and they are a great company and provide fantastic service. The Yank(actually he was Mexican) has been long gone - about the time you went Senile. They are the best Telco in Australia. You bare probably not even a customer.
    PlanB
    9th Mar 2016
    7:55am
    Well Jolly they might be the one that gets out in the most places -- but I wish they would have easy understood ENGLISH speaking people I am sick of hearing these Asian or Indian or what ever
    Hash
    9th Mar 2016
    7:57am
    If you are on the penison, you should not have to pay this fee, some penisoner's need the fixed line telephone service with a monitoring system, due to health problems, my wife and I have only mobile phones now, we find this is better, we use a 365 day prepaid pay as you go plan.
    PIXAPD
    11th Mar 2016
    10:44am
    Just keep your account in credit...simple
    PlanB
    11th Mar 2016
    3:24pm
    PIXAPD, how do you do that when yo have no idea how much you bill will be?