Telstra has scrapped its postpaid mobile plans and will now automatically debit customer’s accounts when payment is due instead of giving them two weeks to pay.
The telco says the change will provide “greater price certainty” to customers.
“You will know exactly how much your plan will cost each month with no nasty surprises,” Telstra said.
But not everyone is happy with the change, according to reactions on social media.
“This seems really disadvantageous to a lot of people,” one Telstra customer wrote on Twitter. “This is not flexibility at all.”
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Rather than be sent your bill and have a set amount of time to pay it in, Telstra will automatically deducted it from your nominated bank account.
There is concern that customers who don’t have the money in their account that day, but will by the time the bill is due, are going to be hit with additional charges by their bank for not having the funds available.
The change applies to postpaid, SIM-only plans for now, effectively turning them into prepaid plans that renew every month rather than when you decide to recharge.
Telstra said it will eventually move all of its customers onto an “Upfront” plan.
By April, if you sign up to a new device plan you will also have to choose one of the “Upfront” plans to go with it.
The new plans allow data sharing on up to 10 plans within the same account, which could prove useful for families, small businesses or organisations.
The Upfront plans also include unlimited talk and text, and 30 minutes of overseas calls (previously international inclusions required an extra $10 a month payment).
You also won’t be hit with excess data charges if you go over your allowance (which starts at 40GB a month for the $55 plan), but once you exceed the cap your speed will be slowed to around 3G-tier speeds (around 1.5Mbps).
The plans don’t support international roaming or smart watches at the moment but will within the next few months.
Support for eSIM is also on the way.
Telstra said the change is part of its “commitment to simplifying options for our customers”.
“Our new plans are no lock in, month-to-month plans, so you can change your plan once a month to suit your needs. Alternatively, you can cancel your service if you‘re not happy with these changes,” Telstra said on its website.
Disclosure: The reporter is a Telstra shareholder.