Vodafone launches ‘Stay Connected’ plan for COVID-19 relief

In light of the major economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vodafone has introduced a temporary mobile plan to help customers experiencing financial difficulties stay connected.

Called the Stay Connected Cap Plan, this $10 per month plan will run for a three-month period and is available exclusively online through Vodafone’s website. The plan includes the following:

  • Unlimited standard national talk in Australia
  • Unlimited standard SMS in Australia
  • 3GB of full-speed data each month

“We recognise this is a very stressful time for many of our customers who have lost employment or income as a result of COVID-19, and we are a key part of their support network.” said Vodafone Chief Executive Officer, Iñaki Berroeta.

“This plan will allow customers to stay connected to the people important to them and the services they need, without worrying about their phone bill.”

How to apply

Vodafone will offer to plan to existing postpaid mobile customers, as well as business customers on Red or Red Plus plans. To apply, you’ll need to fill out Vodafone’s online application, and provide proof of financial hardship such as loss of employment or income.

Applications will open 20 April, 2020 and be available through to 20 May, 2020, unless extended. Once your application is approved, you’ll be moved to the SIM-only Stay Connected plan for a three-month period, then returned to your previous postpaid mobile plan at the usual monthly price.

Keep in mind that if you’re currently paying off a phone, tablet, or other device on Vodafone’s 12, 24, or 36-month device payment plan, your payments will still be due each month. If you are experiencing difficulty making smartphone, tablet or accessory payments, you can apply for additional assistance under Vodafone’s financial hardship policy.

Overall, the plan won’t be commercially available online or through Vodafone’s other retail channels – you’ll need to apply as an existing Vodafone customer to be considered. If you’re not with Vodafone, or looking to switch from your current postpaid plan, you can move to Vodafone’s SIM-only options below.

The following table shows all published Vodafone postpaid SIM-only mobile plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Vodafone COVID-19 support

Vodafone’s Stay Connected Plan is the latest in a series of initiatives from the telco aimed at helping customers during an uncertain and stressful time. Alongside the temporary $10 plan, Vodafone will also waive mobile fees for registered health practitioners for a full two months, via an account credit that again can be applied for online.

Other temporary support measures include:

  • Waiving late payment fees, account suspensions and debt collections from 26 March, 2020 through to 30 April, 2020
  • Offering unlimited standard national calls to all prepaid and postpaid customers from 27 March, 2020 to 30 April, 2020
  • Offering a one-off 10GB data bonus to active prepaid mobile customers from 31 March, 2020 to 30 April, 2020
  • Offering a one-off 3GB data bonus for prepaid customers on their next recharge before 30 April, 2020
  • Offering a one-off 5GB data bonus to postpaid customers who are not on Red Plus unlimited data plans
  • Allowing unrestricted data-free access to nine official Australian health websites, including health.gov.au
  • Reducing data overage costs to $1 per gigabyte for all postpaid mobile, tablet and mobile broadband customers from 31 March, 2020 to 5 May, 2020

While none of these offers are life-changing, small gestures such as extra data and access to unlimited calls can help take the pressure off customers who need to stay connected and online in the coming months.

“The COVID-19 situation is affecting customers in different ways, whether it’s unemployment, remote working or learning, or being physically isolated from people important to them,” said Mr. Berroeta.

“We want to help as many customers as we can, especially those who need help the most, with initiatives to support their changing needs at this time.”

Other telcos offering support

Vodafone isn’t the only major telco offering extra help to customers impacted by the pandemic. Telstra, Optus, Aussie Broadband and Amaysim have all announced a range of initiatives, including bonus data, waived late fees, unlimited calls, plan upgrades, and more. More information is available below.

Image: Jan Vašek / Pixabay

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