Checking your ability to pay before selling you services
Before offering you a post-paid service, providers should take reasonable steps to check whether you can afford the service.
A provider should:
- If you have already have a service with the provider, check your payment history and number of services
- Ask you about your income and employment
- Ask for evidence of your income (such as a pay slip).
We expect you to provide accurate information to the provider. A provider should be able to rely on what you tell it to assess whether you can pay for a service.
What happens if your financial situation changes
If your ability to pay your bills changes after you start a contract (for example, you lose your job or become ill), you should tell your provider and ask it to consider providing hardship assistance.
If your provider:
- did not take reasonable steps to check whether you could pay for services or equipment before selling them to you, and
- sold you services it should have known you could not pay for (either at all, or in full)
we could decide the provider should fix the problem by:
- waiving some or all charges
- changing the contract to one you can afford
- cancelling the contract
- giving you a payment arrangement.
If we decide a plan or contract should be cancelled, we would usually expect you to return any handset or other equipment to the provider.