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Trouble paying bills

We can help with your complaint if you are in financial hardship – that is, you are willing to pay, but are having trouble doing so – and you’re not happy with how your provider has responded. To resolve your complaint, we consider the law, good industry practice and fairness.

Types of complaints about financial hardship

We deal with complaints about financial hardship such as providers:

  • not pointing out their financial hardship policy, or making it hard to access
  • not considering a request for financial hardship assistance
  • refusing to negotiate or renegotiate a reasonable payment arrangement.

What you should expect from your provider: the law and industry practice

Help is available from your provider 

Your provider must have a financial hardship policy that explains how it helps people who are having trouble paying bills. It must tell you about the policy and make sure it’s easy to find. 

You should be offered options to help

If you apply for financial hardship assistance, your provider should offer you options to help. For example, flexible repayment options based on your individual circumstances, where possible. They should also try to offer you a basic service that you can afford.

Providers must not report a default or try to collect debts when you have applied for assistance 

If you’ve applied for financial hardship assistance, your provider can’t report a credit default while you are waiting for a decision. Generally, your provider must also stop debt collection while it considers your request for assistance and when a financial hardship arrangement is in place.

More information

For more information see our guidance on Financial hardship.

This page was last updated on
30th Aug 2021