A source within Telstra has informed Gizmodo that customers will see a new $29 connection fee if they choose to sign up to a Telstra Home Bundle. Combo discounts are also set to disappear from new contracts as well as at the end of currently existing contracts, potentially costing bundled users as much as $40 per month.
Documents viewed by Gizmodo show that Telstra staff have been told that the additional fee is due to the increased expense of provisioning additional bundles for customers. The fee is set to activate as of 7th March.
According to our source, the fee comes after an extended, and ultimately failed, attempt by Telstra to update their Seibel customer management system. With manual updates to customer bundle information still required, new and existing Telstra bundle customers will pay the connection fee to setup or switch bundles.
Perhaps most costly is the end of Combo savings for Telstra customers. The documents Gizmodo has seen point to the end of the $10/month savings for users of bundled services, which currently save as much as $40/month.
However, the fee structure might not be so negative after all for Telstra customers. It's worth keeping in mind that Telstra may be moving to an alternative bundling structure, like the type shown here, where the discount is returned to the customer by the better value of the bundle. It would be this shift away from the 'legacy' style of bundling that could be part of the reason for the fee change.
We got in contact with Telstra media spokesperson Kathyrn McFarlane, who confirmed the information for us:
"We are introducing a one-off $29 Bundle Contract Connection fee to cover the administration costs associated with establishing new bundles from standalone services. This will be quickly offset as our bundles enable customers to save between $17.85 and $41.85 per month compared to taking up standalone home and broadband plans on a 12 month plan.
Customers who have the Combo Rewards will continue to receive the benefits as we are not removing them from existing customers."