Another unwanted cost

A Morwell man on a disability pension says recent changes to his mobile phone’s prepaid options are making it harder to get by.

Ryan Taylor has been a Telstra prepaid customer for about three years.

The 43 year-old said he has only ever had to pay $20 a month to make phone calls, send text messages and use data to access the internet.

But following recent changes to his chosen Freedom Plus prepaid option, Mr Taylor said he now must pay $20 for data usage only and another $20 to make phone calls and send texts.

“(I don’t have any other internet access) other than using Wi-Fi when I can where it’s free,” Mr Taylor said.

“And being on a disability pension, it makes it tough.”

Mr Taylor has family in Queensland whom he contacts via his mobile phone.

He said he would like Telstra to change the prepaid options back to how they were, so he could afford to contact his family and pay for other necessities.

He thinks other people are in the same boat.

“I know a lot of people that are on pensions and NewStart and that and Telstra are just making it harder and harder for people,” Mr Taylor said.

“I’m trying to get myself a new car because mine’s ready for the scrap heap and I can’t even afford to do that, because I’m either putting money into bills or I’m putting money on my phone and it even makes it hard trying to get medication that I need.”

The company would work with Mr Taylor to find a better option.

“We will work with Mr Taylor to help find a plan that is suited to his needs,” the spokesperson said.

“For example, we may suggest our mobile broadband Annual Pass which includes five gigabytes of data for $50 with a 365-day recharge period.”