Telstra is undergoing a huge change.
Telstra is undergoing a huge change.

Telstra to axe ‘charges that drive customers mad’

TELSTRA will axe pesky charges for excess data as it moves to simplify its mobile phone plans.

The telco will undergo radical change as part of a new strategy to "improve customer experience, simplify structure and cut costs".

While most of its announcement yesterday focused on Telstra cutting roughly a quarter of its entire workforce, the telco also said it was reducing the number of plans it offers from 1800 to 20.

Telstra boss Andy Penn said cutting plans would "improve the simplicity" and remove "charges that drive customers mad".

WHAT WILL THE NEW PLANS LOOK LIKE?

Telstra is still tight-lipped when it comes to the finer details of the plans, but we know they will start being rolled out in July.

One of the biggest changes to the plans will relate to data.

"Customers will start to benefit from this simplified approach in July when we make peace of mind data available across a range of new postpaid plans - making excess data charges a thing of the past," a statement released by the company read.

While Telstra doesn't explicitly say all plans will offer unlimited data, "making excess data charges a thing of the past" implies this could be the case. If the telco was to offer unlimited data on all plans, it's likely to be capped at certain speeds.

The telco said it was also redesigning the "product proposition to be modular, so that households and businesses can build their own plans based on what's most important to them".

This means customers will have a service similar to Foxtel Now, which requires people to choose a base package, with the option to add additional packages for more money.

The move to give customers more control over services will also allow customers to chop and change between plans at any time without incurring extra costs.

Telstra is also putting an emphasis on customer loyalty.

"There will be more incentives for customers to have more of their services with Telstra - and the more services a customer has with us, the more value they will receive," the company wrote.

The telecommunications giant said a number of additional major product and service experiences would be announced progressively over the next 12 months.

"By the end of June 2019, our consumer and small business customers will see a radically simplified experience made possible by new intuitive digital platforms that will give them the ability to make changes to their products in near real-time via our 24×7 App," he said.

The new plans will reduce receiving one of these.
The new plans will reduce receiving one of these.

HOW WILL CUTTING PLANS MAKE THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE BETTER?

When you hear Telstra is cutting 8000 employees and contractors - including one in four executive and middle management roles - and removing a large percentage of its plans, it's hard to imagine how this will improve customer service and the overall experience.

But Telstra is confident leaving its legacy product designs and systems behind will allow them to better meet the expectations of customers and transform telecommunications for all Aussies.

"Our people in our stores and contact centres will be able to serve customers faster than ever before, with new digital tools that replace legacy systems, manual processes and numerous screens," it wrote.

"We will dramatically reduce the need for customers to contact us with queries - something we know frustrates them.

"In fact, we expect the number of customer service calls we receive will go down by around a third within two years."

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR BUSINESS?

Telstra has also announced a new bundled offering for small- to medium-sized businesses, which will be available before the end of this year

"Connected Workplace is a digitally delivered, fixed-price, per seat solution with modular add-ons. It's a simple all-in-one solution that brings together voice and video calling, collaboration and messaging, on a basic managed private network with embedded security," it wrote.

"It will bring enterprise-grade technology to small- and medium-sized companies to allow them to focus on running their business and less time on their technology.

"This product is the first fully digital solution delivered on Telstra Enterprise's new digital core, and one of a number of next generation solutions introduced by Telstra Enterprise over the last year."

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