Helping vulnerable and at-risk consumers residential consumers and small businesses
Vulnerable and at-risk residential consumers and small businesses can now call 1800 046 686 or 03 8600 8308 for assistance with unresolved phone and internet complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.
Vulnerable and at-risk issues for residential consumers are identified as:
- having a serious medical condition, or a registered priority assistance service,
- not having an ongoing mobile or internet issue poses a specific safety risk, or
- needing urgent financial hardship support from their provider.
Vulnerable and at-risk issues for small businesses are identified as:
- business’s phone or internet services completely or partly unusable, or
- business’s phone or internet outage may cause harm to others.
- Telstra is not charging late payment fees or suspending services for bills that become overdue between Thursday 19 March and Thursday 30 April 2020.
- Late payment fees may apply for bills that become overdue before 19 March 2020, or after 30 April 2020.
- Optus customers (including small businesses) can put their plan on hold for free.
- Late payment fees waived until 30 April.
- Disconnection and credit collection activites stopped until 30 April.
Further help from Telstra and Optus as well as other telcos can be found here.
- Restricting properties (all restrictors removed from existing properties)
- Ceased sending recovery notices such as our Intention to Restrict and Notice of Legal Action
- Ceased all mercantile activity – no accounts are being referred to mercantile agents and existing accounts are NOT being worked
No households in Western Australia experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 will have their water restricted.
In the wake of COVID-19 there is a freeze on increases to household fees and charges until at least 1 July 2021.
This decision means that Western Australian households won’t have to pay more for water in 2020-21 than they do now. You will continue to receive a two-monthly bill which will require payment.
They have extensive customer assistance programs available, which include flexible payment plans.
If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your account please contact them on 13 13 85 or visit our help with paying your bill page prior to the account becoming overdue.
No households in Western Australia experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 will have their power disconnected. In addition, no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments for those experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship. This applies to Synergy and Horizon Power customers.
Eligibility for the previously announced Energy Assistance Payment boost has been expanded to include new eligible applicants until September 30, 2020. This doubles the amount of the EAP per year to $610 and provides a boost to Western Australians affected by COVID-19. This ensures that any person unemployed due to COVID-19 who becomes eligible for a concession card will receive an upfront $305 credited against their electricity bill (from May 11, 2020) and up to a further $305 credited over the course of the next year. EAP boost payments for Western Australians, eligible as at March 16, 2020 have been brought forward to this financial year rather than being paid from July 1, 2020 providing relief sooner to WA households.
To provide support to customers during this time of uncertainty, the State and Federal government have announced a series of support measures to assist customers. These measures include;
- Zero increase to the cost of electricity tariffs for all residential customers in 2020
- A one-off boost payment of $305.25 to customers eligible for the Western Australian Energy Assistance Payment (WAEAP).
Synergy is continuing to work with the WA government on more relief, advice and help for customers.
Customers may also access existing payment support measures including the option to request a payment extension or access an ongoing payment arrangement, tailored to suit their individual needs.
Their local customer support remains in place to respond to customer inquiries both online, and via the customer call centre on 13 13 53.
If customers are struggling to pay their bill, Synergy encourages them to reach out via Synergy.net.au/hardship to view a range of hardship and concession support options which may be available to them.
More information here
We understand that COVID-19 may result in some of our customers finding it harder to pay their Horizon Power bill. If you are experiencing unanticipated financial impacts of COVID-19 and they are compromising your ability to pay your energy bills, the first thing you should do is let Horizon know. The earlier they can help take the pressure off you, the better you can manage your finances through this uncertain time.
They are here to help you with a range of energy assistance options that may support you through these challenging times, including payment extensions and payment plans.
Get in contact with them weekdays from 8am-5pm on 1800 267 926.
You may also be eligible for concessions and rebates, including a payment under the Hardship Utilities Grant Scheme. To ensure they are keeping you connected, please let them know as early as possible if you expect any payment challenges.
- Their natural gas Customer Service Team will operate on revised support hours of 8.00am – 4.30pm Monday to Friday as of Monday 30 March 2020.
- Support is available by calling 13 21 80, emailing us or speaking with a team member via web chat or there are online pages for hardship support for customers: https://www.kleenheat.com.au/covid-19
- If you have queries about your Kleenheat natural gas account, rest assured when you call them during the above hours a member of their local support team will be ready and waiting to assist as best they can.
Kleenheat LPG support and cylinder deliveries
- There is no change to the process for customers placing residential LPG orders, which remains available via online ordering or over the phone.
Eligible AGL residential and small business customers can extend their payment due dates. Log in to My Account to set up a payment extension of up to 21 calendar days. Or, you can call them on 131 245 and select Option 2, for an extension of up to 14 calendar days.
There’s extra support available through AGL’s hardships programs. Customers in NSW, QLD, SA or WA are able to access AGL’s Staying Connected program.