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Tips for phone and internet consumers experiencing family violence

Get the information you need to feel safe explaining your complaint

If you are uncomfortable telling your provider you are experiencing family violence, ask your provider about its privacy policy, how it records information on your file, how long your information is stored, and whether anyone else could access to your information.

Ask your provider if it has specialised staff or contact details for family violence complaints

Your provider may have staff who are specially trained to help customers experiencing family violence with phone or internet problems. Check your provider’s website or ask your provider if it has specialised staff or a dedicated phone number, email address, or online form.

Tell your provider if you think your safety is at risk

If your safety is at immediate risk, call 000 for help. If you are worried about being disconnected or have restricted connectivity, let your provider know about your safety concerns and ask about options to keep your services connected.

You may be able to keep your mobile number even if the service is not in your name

If you want to keep a mobile number that is in someone else’s name, your provider may be able to help transfer the number into your name. Some providers might be able to transfer a number without the account holder’s consent, but some providers will need the account holder’s agreement.

Ask your provider for additional account security

If you believe someone may try to use your personal information, like your address or date of birth, to access your account, ask your provider if you can use a PIN or password instead. If you can use a PIN or password, do not share these details with anybody.

Make sure your account details are up to date

Tell your provider if any of your contact details have changed. Let your provider know if you want to change the people authorised to contact your provider on your behalf.

Tell your provider you are in financial hardship

If your overdue charges are building up and you can’t afford to pay them, tell your provider you are in financial hardship and ask what options they can offer you. If you can only afford to pay small amounts, ask your provider for a flexible payment arrangement plan.

Think about what parts of your service you really need

If you can’t afford your regular bills, contact your provider about ways to reduce your costs and tell your provider what service aspects you need most. You could switch from a post-paid plan to a pre-paid plan. If your main support network is overseas, ask your provider if it offers a plan that includes some calls to that country.

Resources

Download the Consumer Tip Sheet

Here's how other cases were managed

Complaint
Consumer damaged a cable on their property and was being billed for the repair and the replacement of the cable.
Outcome
Bill for the repair was paid, bill for the replacement was waived.
Complaint
LineUp phone company pressured a consumer to transfer her services and continued with the process despite the consumer not agreeing.
Outcome
The transfer was cancelled and the sales process and practices or LineUp was changed as a result of our systemic investigations.

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This page was last updated on
09th Dec 2020