Financial Hardship Policy

Financial Hardship Policy

 

Financial Hardship

The Telecommunications Consumer Protections Code C628:2019 defines Financial Hardship as a situation where a customer is unable to discharge of the financial obligations in relation to our services but where the customer expects to be able to do so over time if payment arrangements are changed.

 

We are here to help.

We will work with you to help you respond to financial difficulty, whether temporary or long-term. We are committed to helping customers facing financial hardship maintain telecommunications access and working with you to find a sustainable solution.  Any help we can give will depend on your individual circumstances, and we provide help on a case-by-case basis.

 

Contact us:

We encourage you to contact us if you experience any difficulties paying our services. Please contact us by calling 1300 731 503 if you would like to discuss any Financial Hardship matters with us. You can do so from Monday – Friday (9.00am – 5.30pm). You may also contact us by email: support@powercompacific.com.au

 

The process:

When assessing your eligibility for Financial Hardship, in certain circumstances we may ask you to provide certain documents such as:

  • A statutory declaration or official written communication from a person or support group that is familiar with your circumstances;
  • Evidence that you consulted a recognised financial counsellor; and
  • A statement of your financial position.

These would only be requested if we deemed the financial position to be long term, or the amount to repay was significant or large, or you had not been a customer with us for very long, or we suspected that the debt was caused in fraudulent ways.

We may not be able to make an assessment of your circumstances if you do not provide us with the requested information. We may use the information you provide as well as other information available to us. Once we received all required information, we will let you know within 5 working days whether you are eligible for assistance under our Financial Hardship Policy.

If you are eligible, will work with you to come to an arrangement that allows you to pay your outstanding charges in a way that does not worsen your financial position. Where appropriate we will discuss means with you how to limit your spend (this may include barring some service features) during the time of our arrangement and thereafter.

This may include:

  • Spend controls;
  • Restriction of service, in respect of overall or specific services;
  • Transferring you to a Pre-Paid Service;
  • Transferring you to a contract which includes hard caps or Shaping; or
  • Low cost interim options until you can continue with original payments.

We may suggest suitable financial arrangements to help you settle the debt. These may include:

  • Temporarily postponing or deferring payments (for a longer period than would typically be offered to Customers requesting an extension outside of Financial Hardship arrangements);
  • Agreeing on an alternative arrangement, plan, or contract, including discussing Pre-Paid Services;
  • Discounting or waiving of debt;
  • Waiving late payment fees;
  • Waiving cancellation fees; or
  • Incentives for making payments, for example payment matching.

Once we come to an agreement we will put this in writing via letter or email to you. You must inform us if your circumstances change (for better or for worse) during our arrangement.

We will not charge you for assessing your Financial Hardship circumstances or for administering the matter.

 

Providing information for your assessment

You may submit documents for assessment to us via the following means:

 

Finding a financial counsellor:

You can talk to a phone financial counsellor or a consumer advocate who deals with financial difficulty matters from anywhere in Australia by ringing 1800 007 007 (minimum opening hours are 9.30 am – 4.30 pm Monday to Friday). This number will automatically switch through to the service in the State or Territory closest to you.

Alternatively, you can find the financial counselling service nearest to you by visiting http://www.financialcounsellingaustralia.org.au/Corporate/Find-a-Counsellor.

 

Dealing with a Complaint

If you are unhappy with a product or service that you have or have had with us we offer a comprehensive Complaints Handling Process. For full details and to see this please navigate to our Policies page on our website http://www.powercompacific.com.au/complaints-handling-policy/