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Level 1: Cadet

Telstra forced customers to NBN and starts billing in advance

Why is Tesltra suddenly billing a month in advance. When Telstra forced us onto NBN, the first account was billed twice, once for the current month, and then again billed in advance for the next month. I did not authorise this and Telstra did not inform us that they would be billing in advance under NBN.
Under the principles of IFRS15, Tesltra should not bill for services in advance of the performance obligation - billing in advance for future services that might be rendered under a contract is not a commercially accepted practise in this country. The offshore shared services team in Vietnam and the Philippines have been arrogant about it maintaining that taking the Australian customer's money before the service is delivered under contract is a legitimate business practise in their country so it should be accepted here. I beg to question this practise and would welcome a Royal Commission Inquiry. I have explained to the offshore shared service team that this practise of taking the Australian customer's money a month in advance for future services that may (or may not) be rendered is in effect placing undue hardship and financial stress on mortgage holders, single parents, and customers on a tight household budget, leading to frustrations, lose of hope and even people committing suicide. However, the offshore Telstra team on the 133200 maintain that this is ok as it is acceptable business practise.

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3 REPLIES 3
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Level 24: Supreme Being
Level 24: Supreme Being

Re: Telstra forced customers to NBN and starts billing in advance

Would you be able to cite the which document, and which section, "billing in advance for future services that might be rendered under a contract is not a commercially accepted practise in this country" comes from? I was unable to locate it in the IFRS 15 or any of the AASB documentation

https://www.aasb.gov.au/

 

Telstra have made it no secret there there is the possibility of advance payments or pro rata charges and its been this way for something like 10 years now. Other service providers do the same. Terms and conditions can be found here: https://www.telstra.com.au/customer-terms/home-family

 

More general information:

https://exchange.telstra.com.au/how-to-understand-charges-on-your-telstra-bill-when-you-change-plans...

https://www.telstra.com.au/support/category/account-billing/understand-bill/understanding-your-month...

 

Once an area is designated Ready For Service by NBN (A government owned entity), you have 18months to transition your services to NBN before they are disconnected. This is a government mandate, not a Telstra one. As ready for service area's also have a cease sale on legacy services (another government mandate), plan changes or new contracts will also require you to transition to the NBN.

 

I am Complex Customer Service Specialist, nominally working with most assurance products. However, I am not an official representative on CrowdSupport.

IT Helpdesk and Technicial Support by Telstra Platinum
Smart Home Automation & Monitoring from Telstra
Helping Australians Find the Things that Matter Most with Telstra Locator
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Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: Telstra forced customers to NBN and starts billing in advance

IFRS15 is an accounting reportability requirement. It has nothing to do with how a contract can be structured or charged.

 

And services have been billed in advance in this manner for Telecommunications for decades. The rest of your argument does not make much sense at all around financial stress, as the ongoing costs are the same month to month regardless.

 

You probably haven't noticed that you are being charged in advance for your public transport fares either, or toll road usage, council rates, credit card annual fees.....

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.
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Level 11: Detective
Level 11: Detective

Re: Telstra forced customers to NBN and starts billing in advance

Telstra has charged a full month in advance for ages and it is, in fact, the standard in not just the telecommunications industry, but just about every service industry I can think of.

You pay for usage outside allowance in the most recent month, and pay for access for the month in advance.

 

If you disconnect the service, you will be credited back the full amount of what you have paid in advance, so you will absolutely only ever pay for the days where the service is active. This is absolutely an acceptable and common business practise. 

 

While the telstra consultants should have explained the billing system to you in greater detail to avoid the bill shock, I feel like your reaction is a little bit excessive. If you need more time to pay your bills, just get in contact with the billing team to organise a payment extension. 

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