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[BF] Telstra Waiving December and January Mobile Bills for Volunteer Firefighters


In addition to the assistance packages that we always make available to our customers during emergencies, we wanted to also ensure that Australia’s volunteer firefighters are supported as well.

This new assistance package means that we will cover the cost of volunteer firefighter’s mobile phone bills over the period of December and January. We want to do this to show our thanks to firefighters for their efforts in helping keep communities safe.

Firefighter volunteers should contact Telstra on 13 22 03 when convenient to register for the free calls over December and January.

We hope this will ease some of the burden, particularly as many of these firefighters are defending their own communities.

Mod: Deal title is tagged [BF] which is a tag for all deals related to Bushfire Victims/Volunteers etc. You may choose to deprioritise this tag by using the new front page. Please click 'new' on the OzBargain home page, then 'personalise', then add bf in 'add a title tag', drag the slider to less, then save preference. You may also choose to add other tags to see more/less of those deals (eg your state, other states) or see more/less from particular stores.

For those affected or involved, see the Bushfire Relief event page. You can also use the new front page to prioritise the [BF] tag.

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  • +42

    Customers who have had to evacuate their home, or have sadly lost their home due to the bushfires should also call 13 22 03 to register for the assistance package.

    Our relief packages can include the following:

    Short term measures (for Telstra customers who have a short-term impact – temporary evacuation of premises or temporary fault):

    Free use of Telstra public payphones in the affected areas
    Free use of Telstra Air payphone hotspots in the affected areas
    Free call diversion from an affected fixed home or business phone service to another fixed or mobile service of the customer’s choice, regardless of the carrier
    Customers who use the free call diversion to divert their affected fixed home or business phone to their Telstra mobile service can also make local and STD® calls on their mobile at fixed-line rates, in accordance with their selected plan (limited to one designated Telstra mobile per affected household or business.
    Affected Telstra mobile customers who do not have a Telstra home phone can receive a one-off credit to the value of $100 inc. GST (limited to one mobile phone per Telstra mobile account).
    The above offers are applicable until network damage in the area due to fire is repaired, or while customers remain evacuated, for a maximum period of three months from the date of the fires.

    Long-term measures (for Telstra customers who have suffered severe damage to or loss of their premises):

    Free call diversion from the customer’s Telstra fixed phone service to another Australian fixed or mobile service of their choice, regardless of the carrier. This offer is applicable for a maximum period of 6 months from the date of the fire.
    In addition, Telstra will apply a one-off credit to the value of $500 inc. GST to the customer’s Telstra fixed phone account to help cover the costs of the following, if required: Connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at one temporary residence
    Re-connection of a Telstra fixed phone service at the customer’s original permanent premises

    • +31

      Well done Telstra. Whether some see this gesture as marketing or PR, those that need this assistance will be grateful for your support.

  • +38

    Excellent. I believe this should extend to all emergency services and SES…

    • +1

      Hope so, have not had any confirmation yet. Question has been asked tho.

      • +2

        @hek666 There are an untold number of scammers taking advantage of this situation, so how exactly are legitimate people being vetted/classified as a volunteer firefighter?

        • +2

          I dont know the correct answer but a legit volunteer firefighter, ambulance volunteer, Salvos volunteer, SES volunteer and others are all issued or should be with a organisation photo id.

          • @hek666: We don’t get IDs with SES, but we have a unique number. Not sure if/how that can be checked by a third party to be confirmed as legitimate.

            • @Blunglefortness: NSW SES do issue ID's, but can take significant time due to bottleneck at Unit, Zone, and State levels. So 6-12 mth to get ID is not unusual.

        • We all have a @nsw.gov.au email account….

          • +1

            @anthonyaaa: Believe it or not there are volunteer firefighters outside of nsw 😀😀😀

          • +2

            @anthonyaaa: Not all volunteers have gov emails. I've volunteered with Red Cross emergency services for over a decade and I don't have one

    • Could not agree more. Vodafone has gone for a wider range of services and animal rescue organisations.

    • +35

      there's nothing wrong with that, this website has an excellent history of helping out in times of need and getting the message out. definitely deserving of a spot on the front page.

  • +7
    • +5

      We will all be donating when insurance premiums come out in due course……….

      • +4

        "Donating" to your insurance provider is barely comparable to donating to those who are risking their lives to help…

  • Emergency services are also affected in those areas. Can they get some love too?

  • +14
    • +6

      Cant/wont donate money then you can always donate blood

    • +10

      Actually logged in to post this article. A must read for all Australians.

      I’m shocked at how utterly MIA the government is over this, this is a national emergency.

      • +2

        Agreed, but you don’t attack the Fed Govt by withholding donations to private charities. Vote (any) Govt out when you can and want, but fire victims need any donations and money, from any source, now.

        • -1

          And why do they need it now? Did you even read the article?

          • +2

            @Skinnerr: Why now? Kidding? Yes, of course I read it all. But blaming pollies , at this time, helps no-one, unless you want to be part of the problem.

            • +1

              @chrism238: Making monetary donations plays right Into their system and helps no-one but the government shirk their responsibility and pat themselves on the back for their BS surpluses that is just robbing Australia of infrastructure, services and a future. If you want to donate supplies/food or even volunteer then fine but donating isn't going to solve anything. They're ambiguous at best and deceptive at worst.

              It has to get worse before it gets better.

      • It's now international. Our bushfire smog has reached and is choking New Zealand.

      • Also the government: https://australianaviation.com.au/2019/05/nsw-buys-boeing-73...

        Wouldn't say buying a massive water bomber is exactly MIA…

    • +10

      Bloody good article. That's essentially how the LNP operate though. Privatisation of public services and wealth and socialisation of public debt. How else do you explain the burgeoning government debt at the same time as cuts to the public sector and reduction of services?

      That said, I still donated to the RFS yesterday. Anyone that is brave enough to drive to do the work they are deserves to be paid. I don't understand why they can't be treated like reservists in the military.

  • +3

    Other major telcos should do the same
    Optus and Vodafone where are you?

    • +19

      imo, telstra should be congratulated for doing this out of their own company funds, unlike optus that coaxes its customers to give their data to less privileged is quite ridiculous imo, like firms (e.g. Telstra) should be giving as part of their CSR instead of just getting their customers to donate and the company(Optus) to benefit from the community recognition, more sales and free advertising on the customer's behalf. However I do understand getting customers to donate unused data, but is it that hard to allow less privileged to use your network since Optus is a public trading company and not doing this out of love or compassion but for profit.

      • +16

        Optus trying to act noble for allowing their customers to donate data is disgusting.

        • -1

          Plus the fact they limit it to 10GB every 12 hours is also disgusting.

    • +4

      Optus I think is just offering their "donating data" thing which I find a bit pointless really, but if it makes people feel good I guess there's that? But note, it's all coming from the customers. Optus is not losing out at all.

      • +1

        thats exactly my point, they are not contributing any of their money but rewarded with a good reputation from the community for donating their customer's data

        • -1

          They have already provided 13k sims to people in need. Perhaps a bit of research first before you whine.

          People in need get a Prepaid SIM with unlimited calls, texts and 10GB of data every 42 days. Every month, your data donations are pooled and then distributed as an added data boost to help young Australians realise their full potential.

  • -1

    Now that’s a deal.. unlike the BS sky news crap.

  • +11

    I can't believe some people here.
    Like Telstra has been the first to do this, and they are doing it because it's a nice thing to do. They aren't using this as some twisted marketing campaign.

    Before all the haters complain, did you give up your Christmas to save random people's houses and lives? Have you donated?

    • Telstra is a MNC and all MNC are evil.

    • +1

      This is a marketing plan no dought about it. However it's a win win for telstra and firefighters so should be congratulated.

    • +1

      They aren't using this as some twisted marketing campaign.

      Seriously we have some world class potential professor's here lol . The 400 + upvotes shows the PR pts they are earning . Here another :)

      • -1

        I guess, they are earning a bit of PR cred. But that's mainly psychological. Some people don't see it that way as positively.

        Optus is just doing a marketing stunt. What's supposed to get them free advertising, recognition and PR has backfired on me.

      • +4

        That's absolutely what they've done though. You're fooling yourself if you don't think a cost-benefit analysis was conducted before the decision was made to do this. If the cost had come in higher than the benefit, they wouldn't have gone with it. The bottom line is corporations exist to benefit their shareholders, nobody else. They aren't ever going to (intentionally) deliver a public good at a financial loss.

        Corporations don't do charity. Every decision is made with short and/or long term goals which eventually boil down to the simple question: how much money will it make?

  • +1

    Great gesture.

  • Its a step in the right direction

  • +13

    For anyone who isn’t a fan of ringing Telstra, you can do this via Chat as well. Provided them with my volunteer number and brigade and was all set.

  • +4

    Cool move Telstra :) this will be a nice bonus for dad.

  • +1

    From now on, I will sign up only to Telstra as they actually contribute to the country rather than funnelling the profit to Singapore or Europe

    • +1

      I wouldn't they have done a nice gesture but they are hopeless 1.5 stars from 1600 reviews :)

      Not much value for $$$$$$$ :)

    • +1

      Least Optus is willing to pay proper taxes for having a business in Oz
      Yet you have no problems supporting American companies.
      Apple,Amazon and google make billions combined every year here and what have they ever given back to Australia sfa. They won't even pay their fair share of tax.

    • +2

      Ever used Vaya or Catch?

  • +1

    Great Move Telstra!

  • Support Telstra, support the firefighters and volunteer… good job telstra

  • +7

    Come on guys, let us be supportive rather than destructive in analysing the intention here. Whatever Telstra is doing helps the volunteers in crisis in some ways. Everything we do can be scrutinised in a negative ways such as publicity seeking, fame seeking, etc. Let us support businesses that come out to help so more would be willing to help. Thinking positively helps the world be a better place rather than thinking about how business and people are out to con us. Be the one who has big heart and embrace positive thinking. I do not work for Telstra nor own any Telstra shares before people start to find ways to criticise.

  • +22

    I appreciate it. Not a firefighter, but an SES volunteer. Just came back from Swan Reach in East Gippsland. Spent my wife’s birthday and New Year eve on fire ground. It is commendable how volunteers within the community stand up together and work as one. Volunteers really don’t do it expecting anything in return, but any kind gesture makes us feel valued and appreciated. I have had people thanking us, inquiring about how to donate. It is very nice to receive support and appreciation from the community. So, thank you.

    • +2

      Good job, well said. I totally support Telstra. They do have the best coverage compare to all other telco in Australia. Telstra support Australia, Australia support Telstra as I am an Australian.

      • +2

        Thank you.

  • +2

    Anyone who isn't a genuine volunteer and is trying to take advantage of it is un-Australian and a mug! I am not a volunteer, but I passed on the info to my wife's friend who is.

  • +4

    I don’t see the problem here.
    Telstra has made an offer of their services.
    But It’s not a pointless marketing stunt, it’s something which is actually helpful to the people who need it.

    At the same time it also benefits Telstra via good publicity. But that’s kinda how 99% of the world works on a daily basis.
    I donated $80 bucks last week to help those 2 families on the news. Not really much compared to my (modest) yearly income. But in return I get to feel good about it , so it’s a win/win.
    That’s why all the negative comments are being downvoted. At a certain point it just becomes needlessly cynical (and possibly hypocritical) to attack corporate gestures which are actually helpful.

  • +2

    Good on you Telstra!! I bet they will have their damaged network back up the quickest too. They usually have quit a few mobile base stations with generators to mobilize in situations like this. Unfortunately the damaged areas are so large they may have trouble covering it all.

    • +1

      I heard on ABC bushfire coverage, there isn't much damage to their equipment. The loss of transmission is mostly due to loss of power to affected areas. The mobile towers batteries which last for 24 hours. Once the power is restored some of Telstra's network should be back online. Although, it is speculative, as Telstra cannot get their technicians into the affected areas unless it is safe to do so.

  • +1
    • Post it as deal.

  • +2

    Now AGL has stepped in to support the volunteers too https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/510331

    It is a nice gesture from these companies. But it would be nice if they could do more on a regular basis to return some of their profits back to the communities. I do know that the corporations act requires directors to work in the best interest of its shareholders. But happy communities means happy customers and happy shareholders.

  • That's a very nice example for other companies to look up to.

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