Telstra, Optus, & Vodafone React to COVID-19 – Offers & Initiatives

Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone React to COVID-19

Telcos support Australians with new offers during coronavirus update

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to affect Australians, telcos are doing their part for the community. We’ve seen the major telcos – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – launch initiatives ranging from data bonuses to bill waivers to help customers cope during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Many Australians have to stay home to slow down the spread of the virus. This means working from home, which means a lot of data being used while working online and conducting virtual meetings. And for those who stay home just to self-isolate and practice social distancing, smartphones are the go-to way to escape boredom and keep in touch with friends and family, which also results a lot of data being used.

The major telcos understand this new normal, and continue to respond with great new plans and initiatives to ease the burden. Let’s take a look at how Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone are reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vodafone’s response to COVID-19

Vodafone has been very proactive in launching offers to ease the effects of COVID-19 on Australians. Here’s a look at what they’ve offered so far:

  • Bonus data
    Vodafone prepaid customers can claim a one-off 10GB data bonus via SMS opt-in before April 30, as long as you’ve been active during the last 30 days. Prepaid customers also get a one-off 3GB data bonus before April 30, while postpaid customers who aren’t on endless data plans can get 5GB data bonus before April 30.
  • Overage data charge reduced
    Vodafone customers can now get an additional 1GB of data for $1 when they exhaust their plan data. (This overage data usually costs $10 per 1GB.)
  • New $10 Stay Connected Cap Plan
    Vodafone’s latest COVID-19 offer is the Stay Connected Cap Plan, which offers 3GB of data and unlimited voice and SMS for $10 per month. The plan is for existing postpaid customers who may not be able to continue paying for their normal plan due to COVID-19 restrictions and other effects. Customers have to provide proof of hardship, after which the plan kicks in for a period of 3 months, and then reverts to the customer’s normal plan afterwards.
  • No bills for health workers
    Vodafone will also give registered health practitioners two-month credits for their postpaid bills and prepaid recharges.
  • Free standard national calls for all
    All Vodafone customers will get free standard national calls throughout April.
  • No pursuit of overdue accounts
    Vodafone has also pledged to not collect any late fees throughout April, and says it won’t pursue any overdue accounts either.

Optus response to COVID-19

Optus has also responded to COVID-19 with some great offers and assistance for Australians. Here’s a look:

  • Bonus data
    Optus’ eligible postpaid customers can get a one-off 25GB data bonus in April, which lasts for 30 days. Prepaid customers who recharge with at least $40 can get a 10GB data bonus as well.
  • 3-month bill waiver for health workers
    Eligible health workers who are Optus postpaid customers can get their bills waived for a period of 3 months. Click here to find out if you’re eligible for this waiver.
  • Optus Sport fees suspended
    Optus has also suspended subscription fees for their popular Optus Sport platform until May 31 of this year.
  • Unlimited fixed broadband
    All Optus fixed broadband plans are now unlimited until April 30.
  • “Donate Your Data” to kids
    Optus has also launched the “Donate Your Data” initiative that allows customers to donate their unused data to Australian kids who may not have data. The idea is to keep less fortunate kids connected to school and other learning platforms online, as well as with what’s going on in the world.

Telstra response to COVID-19


Telstra has also joined in with offers to help ease the negative effects of COVID-19 on Australians. Here’s a look at some of their initiatives:

  • Bonus data
    Like Optus and Vodafone, Telstra is also offering customers bonus data throughout April, and has even extended the offer beyond that. Small business and consumer postpaid customers can get 25GB of bonus data, and the offer has been extended to June 30. Apply via the Telstra 24×7 App.
  • Unlimited broadband
    Consumer and small business Telstra home broadband customers will also get unlimited data until June 30 at no additional cost.
  • Hardship discounts
    Telstra is also offering discounts to Australians receiving JobSeeker Customers with single postpaid mobile service can get $10 off their bill every month for 6 months, while customers with a fixed bundle services and/or multiple postpaid mobile services can get up $20 off their total bill per month, for 6 months.
  • Relief for pensioners
    Customers with eligible Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card can get Telstra’s new $30 per month Value Mobile Offer, which includes unlimited talk and text, as well as 2GB of data which is throttled to 5Mbps unlimited data when exhausted (regular customers can get this month to month plan for $40 per month). Pensioners with home phone plans can also get unlimited local, national and 13/1300 calls, and calls to Australian mobiles until June 30.
  • Payment plans, extensions, and plan downgrades
    Telstra will also allow customers apply for payment plans and extensions, as well as downgrade their current plans. To apply, go to Telstra’s online hub.
  • Job offers
    Telstra is also recruiting 1,000 workers for call center roles, and adding 2,500 roles to serve customers and boost employment in the country.

Final words

Optus, Vodafone, and Telstra have stepped up to the plate to help customers cope during these challenging times. With many Australians staying home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the major telcos have launched a number of initiatives ranging from bonus data offers to fee waivers. These initiatives should coming handy for Australians facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as those depending on telecommunications services to keep in touch with friends and family.

Neil Aitken

Having worked in 3 countries for 4 telcos on both voice and data products, Neil is in a position to give you the inside track. Get beyond the marketing messages to the best plan for you.