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Telstra customers set to be slapped with up to $72 price hike on mobile plans




Telstra customers are facing a price increase on their mobile phone plans of up to $72 a year, with the telco the latest to introduce bill price hikes despite cost of living pressures.

Increases on mobile post-paid plans and mobile broadband plans will come into effect on July 4, with Telstra notifying customers of the changes earlier this month.

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Telstra says the changes are in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), the official measure of inflation, which currently sits at 7 per cent.

For customers on Telstra’s cheapest mobile post-paid plan, this will mean an increase of $3 a month, or an extra $36 a year for 2GB of data.

The telco’s “basic” plan will jump from $58 a month to $62 a month, while those on its “essential” plan will now pay $72 a month instead of $68.

Increases to Telstra’s “premium” plan, its most expensive, will see customers fork out an extra $72 a year.

Mobile broadband-only packages will also be affected, with Telstra’s largest bundle increasing by $5 a month, or $60 a year.

Telstra Group executive for consumer and small business Brad Whitcomb said the hike was a response to current conditions.

“Like most businesses in Australia, we are also responding to increasing costs,” he said.

“These increased costs come at a time when the CPI data ... shows overall telecommunications prices – which covers all telecommunications equipment and services, beyond just mobile price – have not increased for consumers anywhere near the rate of other goods and services in recent years.”

He acknowledged the impact the price hikes will have on those who are currently struggling.

“We know price rises can be hard for some people, especially when cost of living pressures are high, and we want to be clear on why we’re doing this and what’s available if you need support.”

Support is available to customers doing it tough, Whitcomb said, through Telstra’s Top-up program which provides free mobile credit recharge.

The company has also increased the concession discount on its “starter plan”.

The price hikes to postpaid mobile plans follow similar increases from Optus and Vodafone.

Optus announced last year that some of its mobile phone plans would increase by $4 per month in August, while the majority of postpaid Vodafone mobile plans increased by $5 in April.

For Telstra customers, it’s the second time in as many weeks that they’ve been hit with a price increase.

The telco recently announced that it would more than double what it charged customers who chose not to pay their bills electronically.

The change came into effect on May 20, with the fee imposed on customers who pay over the counter at Australia Post bumped from $1 to $2.50.

The fee will apply to every payment and is on top of the $2.20 charge for those who receive their bill in the mail.

A spokesperson from Telstra said the rate it charges customers was “still lower than what we get charged to accept these payments”.