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Many phone providers have a limit on how many calls you can make, texts you can send and data you can use each month. If you go over your limit you could be charged extra fees. These fees can be very expensive and it is best to avoid going over your limit if you can. See our tip sheet on how to avoid smartphone bill shock for more information.

If you have received an unexpectedly high bill, do not panic, but do not ignore it. Here is what you should do:

  1. Call your provider to discuss
    If you think your bill is wrong, ask to be sent an itemised bill. If you do not understand your bill, ask your provider to go through the details with you.

  2. Ask for a discount
    In some cases, providers will offer you a discount off the bill if you have made a one-off mistake, such as signing up to a plan that was not suited to your needs or using your smartphone overseas.

  3. Tell your provider if you cannot afford to pay the bill
    Ask your provider if you can arrange a payment plan, where you make a regular payment every month until it is paid off.

  4. Ask your provider what will happen to your service
    Your provider may disconnect, suspend or restrict your service if you do not pay your bill. In most cases your provider has to warn you in writing at least twice and at least five working days before they disconnect the service.

  5. Contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO)
    If you have an excessively high bill that you genuinely cannot afford to pay and you are unable to arrange a solution, contact the TIO. The TIO is a free service that will help to resolve your complaint quickly.