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I Can’t Pay My Australian Mobile Phone Bill. – Wish

Wish

“Dear Steve,

I am an international student studying in Melbourne. When i came here 6 months ago i had signed up for a $49 Cap contract for 24 months offered by a mobile company along with a new handset worth $500. I have paid my bills promptly for last 6 months..now i am going back to india due to some personal problems. I called up the customer care and they said i have to Cough up around $600 to terminate the contract. I cant afford paying $600.

What will be the present/future consequences if i dont pay as i may come back to australia few years down the line.. please help me asap..

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Wish”

Dear Wish,

Interesting question. Readers in the U.S. will be surprised by this question and answer. In the U.S. you can pay an early termination fee to get out of the contract. Typically, $175.

In Australia and the UK, where I lived, you can’t do that. In the UK the cell phone, mobile phone, companies require you to pay the entire balance of you agreement and there is no early termination available, at all, period. When I moved out of the UK I still had to pay for service that I couldn’t use. Same with most internet providers as well.

For your phone contract in Australia it sounds like they are giving you a break since your remaining contract would actually cost you $882.

If you don’t pay it all it will go to collections and the amount that you owe will grow. You might be sued for the debt in Australia and that could potentially hurt you if you are asking for any future permanent residency status when you return. Also, when you return the collection of the debt will most likely resume, but you’ll a lot more by then.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

5 Comments

  • i am a international student in 2007 in uk on that time i have a contract mobile phone but in 2009 i came back my country so now in 2011 i wish to go back uk as a student again can i got visa or any other problem i face when i m in uk plz help me what can i do…. i m very nervous

  • i am a international student in 2007 in uk on that time i have a contract mobile phone but in 2009 i came back my country so now in 2011 i wish to go back uk as a student again can i got visa or any other problem i face when i m in uk plz help me what can i do…. i m very nervous

  • I am now a US resident. I have unpaid debt back in Australia and due to no job or assets are unable to pay my debt. Contracted cancer and have been too ill to work.
    I want to file for bankruptcy but no longer reside there, can it be done from the USA.
    Can the debt collection agency in Australia come after me here.
    I do want to do the right thing but they have refused my payment arrangements.

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