John Willson and Rob Robinson are Emu Park RSL Sub-Branch members who went to war against Telstra's payment charges.
John Willson and Rob Robinson are Emu Park RSL Sub-Branch members who went to war against Telstra's payment charges. Sharyn O'Neill

Telco backs down on charge to RSL

JON Willson and Ron Robinson from the Emu Park RSL took on telecommunications giant Telstra and won.

The pair declared war on Telstra on their $2.20 fee for paying bills in cash at Telstra Shops, Australia Post or by money order or cheque via mail.

Ron Robinson, treasurer of the Emu Park RSL sub-branch, said it was a requirement for audit purposes that they have two signatories on their banking accounts, so they paid their bills by cheque.

By simply paying their telephone accounts they were now to be hit with a $6.60 fee every month to pay three different Telstra bills.

Welfare officer Jon Willson said members of the RSL sub-branch all agreed to fight for their rights after discussing the new fee at a committee meeting.

President Barry Vains said while he acknowledged that Telstra exempted veterans in receipt of war service pensioners and pensioners, they were appalled that the fee was applied to charities such as pensioner bodies and RSL sub - branches, as he had been advised.

“The monies we raise through raffles and other means all goes back into welfare services for our sub-branch members, many of whom fought in time of war to protect this country,” Barry said.

“We see the actions of Telstra as contrary to the Anzac spirit and an issue that many of our forefathers would not have copped and would have been prepared to take up arms against.”

The Morning Bulletin contacted Telstra yesterday and was told clients were given an option to pay the bill by B-pay, to avoid the fee.

However, a call late yesterday from another Telstra representative raised the white flag for the RSL sub-branch.

“All not-for-profit organisations that can only pay by cheque will be exempt on request,” the spokesman said.

“We're looking into why this did not happen on this occasion and will be reminding our staff.

“On top of this, we will always take individual circumstances into account and we encourage any of our customers in this situation to contact us.”



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