Young people need a Fair Call
Calls from landlines to 1800 (freephone), 1300 and 13 (local-rate) numbers are free or the cost of a local call, calls from mobiles are charged at per-minute rates. Both the caller and the called party are being charged for mobile calls to freephone and local-rate numbers. All consumers are affected but people who only have a mobile phone experience particular detriment, having no choice but to pay up to $1.78 per minute to contact essential services such as Centrelink’s Youth Allowance income reporting line, mental health telephone counselling or basic utilities.
Young people are the group least likely to have access to a landline, relying on a mobile to make all phone calls. 32% of 18 to 24 year olds do not have a landline in the home, this number spikes to 50% for young people who are living in a shared household or boarding situation away from the parental home.
ACCAN and Australia’s newest superhero, Number Woman, are working together to make sure that 1800 freephone and 1300/13 local-rate numbers will cost the same from landlines and mobile phones.