Managing Costs and Financial Hardship



What is financial hardship?

Financial Hardship is a situation where you are unable to pay your My Net Fone bill because of illness, unemployment or other reasonable cause and you believe that you will be able to pay your bill if there is a change to the usual payment arrangements or change to other arrangements for supply of our services.


How to seek financial hardship assistance?

Sometimes, we may become aware that you are experiencing hardship. But usually, we’ll only know if you tell us. The first thing to do to make a hardship application is contact us and tell us your account name and number, what My Net Fone bills you have difficulty with, and why. You can call us about this but you’ll also need to email us those details as soon as you can.


How do we assess if it is financial hardship?

We’ll assess your application in a fair and timely manner. We’ll consider if you are a residential or small business customer eligible under this policy. We’ll consider if you’re unable to pay your bills, and not just unwilling to pay them or disputing them. If you’re unwilling to pay a bill, or wishing to dispute it, then it is not financial hardship. We may ask you to confirm this and that you intend to pay when you reasonably can. We’ll consider if your situation is a genuine financial hardship.

Some reasons for financial hardship are because:

  • you lost your job, or a family member lost their job and you have to support them
  • family breakdown
  • illness unexpected and unavoidable costs from an accident

We’ll also consider if a change of arrangements could help you pay. If there’s nothing we can do under this policy that would make any difference, we can’t make a hardship arrangement with you.

Our assessment may be based on the information you provide and on other information available to us. We might ask you to provide documents to support your application (for example proof you lost your job, a medical certificate). You can send that information to the My Net Fone contact details on this policy.

If you don’t give us the information and documents we ask for, we may not be able to make an assessment. If you give us false or incomplete information we may cancel any hardship arrangements.


What happens next?

We’ll make an assessment of financial hardship within 7 working days of having all the information we need from you. We’ll tell you the outcome of our assessment as soon as we’ve made it. We’ll notify you by email or post.

If we consider there is a financial hardship, we’ll aim to agree on a financial hardship arrangement with you. If we consider there is no financial hardship, we’ll ask you to pay your bill and we may take credit management action.


Making a financial hardship arrangement

If we assess that there is a financial hardship, we’ll work with you to agree on a financial hardship arrangement. We may require evidence of your capacity to pay e.g. a financial statement confirmed by a statutory declaration.

The aim of any financial hardship arrangement is to repay the amount you owe us over a reasonable period while at the same time you don’t go into further debt when continuing to use the service.

We will try to provide flexible repayment options to meet your individual circumstances. A financial hardship arrangement could involve a repayment plan where you pay the debt by instalments over a period of time, as well as changes to your service to help you manage future charges (for example call barring, restricted access, prepayment).

An arrangement must be one that you can comply with. If that’s not possible within the policy, we cannot offer you a hardship arrangement.

If we agree on a financial hardship arrangement with you, we will send you details of the arrangement by email or post, within 7 working days of our agreement. In those details we will set out your rights and obligations under the arrangement, advise the duration or the date of review of the arrangement, and advise that you must tell us promptly if your circumstances change during the term of the financial hardship arrangement. A financial hardship arrangement only commences after you and we have both accepted it.


Can we take credit management action during your application and discussions?

Generally, we won’t take any credit management action against you while we are assessing your application and discussing a financial hardship arrangement with you. For example, we won’t send the matter to a debt collector, notify a credit reporting agency or suspend your service. We can take credit management action against you if:

  • we have rejected your financial hardship application or you withdraw your application
  • you don’t keep an appointed phone conference time or don’t give us information or documents within the required time
  • any information you gave us was false or incomplete
  • it’s reasonable in the circumstances (for example to prevent an increase in your debt)


What happens during the term of a hardship arrangement?

You must comply with the hardship arrangement for its duration. If you tell us that your circumstances have changed we will review the arrangements. If you do not meet your obligations under a financial hardship arrangement, you should contact us immediately to discuss a new arrangement. A renegotiation will follow the same process as your initial application, but we will try to speed it up if any of your original information is still valid.

We will only take credit management action or seek to change the arrangement if:

  • any information you gave us was false or incomplete
  • your circumstances improve so that you could do without the arrangement
  • it’s reasonable in the circumstances (for example to prevent an increase in your debt)
  • you do not meet your obligations under the arrangement and do not contact us and we have taken reasonable steps and not been able to contact you to discuss a new arrangement, or
  • you agree that the arrangement is unable to be completed


Costs associated with this policy

There is no charge for us to assess an application or administer an arrangement under this policy. Community financial counselors Community financial counselors help people deal with financial difficulty matters.

You can call the financial counseling hotline on 1800 007 007 or find a counselor through the ASIC Moneysmart website:


Our contact details

You can contact us about financial hardship issues as follows:

Phone: 1300 731 048, Option 3 (ask to speak to a financial hardship expert)

Fax: +61 2 8008 8008

Email: Use the general contact form on our website