Telstra backflips on tripling international roaming charges, raising the price of paper bills

Telstra’s chief executive officer Andrew Penn also said he would “scrap” an increase in the cost of the company’s paper bills, announcing the price hikes “didn’t sit well with me”.


But the company’s change of heart will not extend to all of its international mobile phone fees, with Australian travellers to some countries still facing double the fees to access the internet abroad.

Captain’s call ... Telstra CEO Andrew Penn announced a pricing backflip.

Mr Penn made the announcement in a blog post today, saying he would change “two pricing decisions” to make “the right calls for customers”.

“Price increases are often necessary and I completely understand why the teams that look after our products made the changes they did,” he wrote.

“But they didn’t sit well with me. Customers clearly told us the same so it’s my responsibility to act on behalf of our customers.”

Mr Penn said he would “scrap” Telstra’s plan to triple the price of excess internet use overseas from 3c per megabyte to 10c/MB.

The company would also back down from charging $3.20 for every paper bill it issued, and every time a customer paid a bill over the counter.

New cost ... The cost of using a mobile phone overseas with Telstra will still rise. (Photo: Justin Brierty.)

The fees will revert to $2 for a paper bill, and $1 to pay a bill in a shop.

“This allows us to recoup costs and avoids the need to charge everyone for a service which a minority of our customer base continues to use,“ Mr Penn said.

Those already charged $3.20 for a paper bill would have the extra charge refunded.

But Telstra’s backflip will not affect most of its changes to international roaming charges, announced on Monday.

The price of using a mobile phone overseas with Telstra will double for travellers visiting Thailand and Indonesia under the new plan, rising from $150 to $300 for a 30-day, 2.2GB pass.

Telstra will also raise the cost of using a mobile phone in countries including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, the United States and United Kingdom by more than 60 per cent by moving them into a new pricing tier.

Telstra’s travel packs for these countries will jump from $300 for 30 days to $450, with just 700MB added to their allowance.

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