Technology for social justice

Mobile plans for a Better Life

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When you’re struggling financially or facing homelessness, it can be incredibly hard to keep up regular payments on something like a mobile phone plan.

While nearly all people who experience or are at risk of homelessness in Australia have a mobile phone, many struggle to stay connected. Prepaid phone plans are expensive and unreliable, often cutting consumers off the moment they either run out of credit or forget to pay. Post-paid plans require credit checks and often put vulnerable people at serious financial risk due to excess charges and fees. Neither solution is ideal.

That’s why Better Life Mobile began in 2012, with the aim of offering affordable, low-cost mobile plans to disadvantaged Australians, without the hassle of contracts and credit checks.

CEO and co-founder Russel Barnes says that Better Life Mobile is all about making it as easy as possible for people to stay connected and included in the digital world.

“Businesses should treat all people respectfully and fairly. People on low incomes suffer doubly when they don’t, since they have a smaller financial buffer to protect them against surprises,” he says.

Better Life Mobile recently partnered with Telstra, Australia’s largest mobile network, to deliver a range of services and options for Australians who can’t afford regular mobile plans.

Some of the benefits Better Life Mobile offers include:

  • no contracts, no credit checks and one set monthly price
  • support and service across Australia that includes support designed for customers with special needs
  • a referral and directory service to customers, connecting them to community and support avenues
  • the ability to pay via Centrelink, State Trustees or welfare agencies.

Better Life Mobile will also soon be launching their own take on the traditional soup van, the Chat and Chew Van, which will provide free wifi, mobile calls, good coffee and tasty bakery items to those experiencing both social and digital isolation.

Find out more at the Better Life Mobile website or the Better Life Mobile Facebook page.

Filed in: Housing and homelessness | Tagged as: Ask Izzy

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