In late August or early September last year a former friend aged 20 who has a bad credit history and a low income attempted to get an iPhone under contract through Telstra to prevent any further contact from an ex girlfriend who was harassing him at the time however he was unsuccessful in getting the phone under his name and my partner who has Asperger Syndrome and ADHD kindly offered to help this guy out by going guarantor and the arrangement was for my partner who is on a disability pension to pay off $50 per fortnight via Centrepay and this guy would pay him back.
Sadly they have since had a major fallout as this guy who had lived with us on two occasions turned out not to be such a good friend and he's showing no signs of paying my partner back and since the contract has also been cancelled my partner is worried that he will be stuck with a bill that technically doesn't belong to him.
I was also told by both men that Telstra has our former friend down as the user of the phone and my partner as the guarantor, how do I go about assisting my partner to prevent Telstra and debt collectors from chasing him up for the money for a debt that really belongs to someone else???
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You don't have to answer this, but is it a mental disability severe enough to mean he can't form the intent to enter into a contract?
This is a case of can't win. You complain of Telstra taking people with a disability 'for a ride' because they provided a service in his name. If they refused, probably more people would complain they are discriminating against people with a disability because they won't give them a post-paid service.
Telstra has no concept of a user and a guarantor. Your partner would be the account holder, and entirely responsible for the account and payment of the charges. The other person may be listed as a 3rd-part authority empowered to make enquiries and basic changes to the account, but is in no way the owner of the account.
You don't need some special 'document' to start a civil action. If the person has no intention of paying based on the first agreement, what makes you think they will now? If they aren't going to pay and it's enough of a burden to your partner's finances to make it worthwhile, just start proceedings straight away.
I hate this "taking people with disabilities for a ride" rubbish. If your parter is not of sufficent competence to enter into a contract, then take out an order in court preventing him from doing so, and transferring his decision making powers to the Public Trustee or Public Guardian in your state (NSW example: http://www.tag.nsw.gov.au/managed-clients-landing-page.html ).
If he is of sufficent competence to enter into an agreement, and Telstra has conducted a credit and risk assessment and believes that he would, under the circumstances, be able to pay the minimum amount each month, then I don't see why your parter should receive any special treatment from Telstra that is difference to anyone who does not have a disability however made a decision to assume responsibility for someone else's debt.
I strongly suggest seeking independent legal advice on what steps you can take against the third party.
He is of normal intelligence but has a significant impairment in social skills, social awareness and some minor communication problems whereas his former does not and a lot of people who know a lot more about this situation strongly believe that my partner has been taken advantage of by this guy and Telstra to some extent.
It is not discrimination to refuse to put someone whether they have a disability or not on a contract if they cannot prove that they have a sufficient income and the ability to pay the monthly payments, my partner is a disability pension which is technically a low income and my partner has also got a history with having paying the monthly payments with Telstra in the past and he had deal with Don and Bradstreet whose debt collecting services Telstra use, after making and arrangement with them he paid off the bill in full and a few months later he got another iPhone with Optus as he also had a casual job at the time and has had no problems paying the monthly payments even now he isn't in that job anymore as it's cheaper and easier to manage, he missed one payment and rather than allowing him to keep using the service and getting the bill to a ridiculous amount Optus cut him off as soon as they didn't get their money, he got online and paid and they reconnected the service straight away, this is something Telstra doesn't do but should consider doing.
Technically by allowing someone who hasn't paid their original bill to continue using the service, accumulating more debt for themselves and Telstra getting as much as they can out of that person is taking someone for a ride and whether they have a disability or not is beside the point however it would be more responsible on Telstra's part to have some limitations on people with a lower income so that they can't get in debt even if they are given a contract.
As for civil proceedings we are definitely looking into that and we've been discussing that option quiet a lot lately.