Australia's largest teleco has started charging customers for cash payment of bills. The move by the company is the latest in an industry that already charges customers for credit card payments.
Customers are expected to fork out $2.20 for bill payments the old-fashioned way at Telstra Shops, Australia Post or by mail.
The telecom industry in Australia has been trying to encourage customers to pay through BPAY, a single bill payment service adopted by the banking sector, and charges up to 1 per cent of the total bill in addition to GST for credit card payment or up to 2 per cent plus GST for charge cards.
Consumer group Choice demanded that the company withdraw its latest charges and Independent senator Nick Xenophon has promised action to stop the cash grab while Choice executive director Nick Stace said Telstra was unfairly penalising customers.
The past year has seen complaints against Telstra with the telcom industry obmudsman rise 50 per cent and indications are that customers are not going to take the latest charge lying down.
But Telstra is not the only telco charging customers for using cash, Optus customers pay a 55 cent administration fee for paying with cash and Vodaphone also charges $1.50 plus GST and 3Mobile levies a $1 surcharge.