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's best to avoid going over your limit if you can. See our tip sheet: How to avoid smartphone bill shock.
If you have received an unexpectedly high bill, don't panic, but don't ignore it. Here's what you should do:
- 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.
- 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 wasn't suited to your needs or using your smartphone overseas.
- Tell your provider if you can't 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's paid off.
- Ask your provider what will happen to your service
Your provider may disconnect, suspend or restrict your service if you don't 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.
- 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.