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Telstra price hikes: Time to shop around as telco mulls more changes



Telstra has foreshadowed further price changes for its mobile users, despite already passing on steep bill hikes for millions of customers earlier this year.

Unveiling its Financial Year 2022 results on Thursday, the telco giant flagged price hikes for 65 per cent of its post-paid mobile customers – flowing through in September – while revealing it will “continue to review” charges for the remaining 35 per cent.

Telstra first announced price hikes ranging from $1 to $4 a month back in June, saying they reflected prevailing consumer price index (CPI) inflation, which has spiked to a two-decade high.

Incoming Telstra chief executive Vicki Brady said the price hikes were a “difficult decision” but when asked about the impact on customers noted Telstra wanted to remain a “premium” brand.

“We’re very conscious of the cost-of-living pressure that our customers are under,” she said.

“Customers have incredible flexibility with us. They’re not in contract, so they can move between plans if their circumstances change.”

The price comments came as the company posted a 4.5 per cent decline in net profits to $1.8 billion for the year ended June 2022, though investors will still enjoy a larger dividend payout.

Margins across its mobile business also rose, up 6.8 percentage points in the past 12 months.

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Telstra mulls more price hikes

With cost pressures hitting its business, Telstra told investors on Thursday that it would be looking at “revenue levers” to prevent earnings from sliding.

This includes already announced price rises for post-paid mobile customers and CPI-indexed changes in NBN plans, but Telstra is also “looking at what increasing costs means for other pricing” too.

“Overall we have some mitigants against inflation given the steps we have taken,” Telstra said.

“We will continue to remain disciplined and focused in our management of costs and pricing.”

Time to shop around?

With Telstra and other large telcos like Optus passing through price increases to their mobile plans, Canstar telco editor Tara Donnelly said.

‘‘It’s a pretty good time to look for a better deal, especially if you’re with Telstra or Optus,” Donnelly said.

Customers on even the cheapest Telstra plans could save upwards of $30 per month by switching to a smaller retailer, Canstar figures show.

The catch is that you might have to give up some of your monthly data allowance, but Donnelly said ACCC research shows most people with the large retailers don’t use all of their mobile data every month.

‘‘Telstra’s post-paid plans begin at 40GB a month,’’ Ms Donnelly said.

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‘‘Telstra say its customer base is using more data than ever before, but realistically not everybody is going to need that much.’’

Users who only need 10GB of data can pay just $15 with Southern Phone’s small plus plan, while those wanting 20GB can pay just $20 per month on Dodo’s basic plan.

Donnelly said people worried they’ll lose access to Telstra’s network should keep in mind that many smaller providers use their infrastructure anyway, meaning the coverage is comparable across most big cities.

The post Telstra price hikes: Time to shop around as telco mulls more changes appeared first on The New Daily.



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