As it promised back in August this year, Telstra has reminded its customers that new third-party carrier billing arrangements will end this weekend on 3 December 2017. In an SMS sent to customers this afternoon, Telstra advised:

Hi. From 3 December 2017, you’ll no longer be able to make purchases in Google Play using your pre-paid account. You’ll still be able to purchase Google Play content using alternative payment methods, however the current arrangement where a subscription for third-party content is debited from your pre-paid balance, will end. If you attempt to set up carrier billing in Google Play from 3 December 2017, you will receive an error message. This change does not affect any existing third party mobile content subscriptions you current have charged to your Telstra pre-paid account. To apologise for any inconvenience, we’ve added a 10GB data pack to your account valid for 28 days. For more info on the changes visit:

What’s unclear is how this will affect existing arrangements. For example, if – before 3 December – you subscribe to Google Play Music via carrier billing, it is unclear whether this will cease, or whether it will be grandfathered and allowed to continue. The wording of Telstra’s message above on this is somewhat unclear, but the Telstra Crowdsupport page for the changes suggests that this will continue to work:

If you have existing subscription services, or you add new subscriptions before 3 December, they will still appear on your Telstra bill or if you are a pre-paid customer, they will continue to be debited from your pre-paid account.

If you are a Telstra customer and want to set up carrier billing for your Google Play purchase, I’d suggest doing so quickly, because the changes come into effect this weekend.

Let us know how you’re affected.

Thanks: Matt Coutts.
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I cannot begin to describe how many things this has effected for me! I am truly disappointed in this. I have been a customer with Telstra for almost 20 years and will be seeking a new provider.

Jack Bunney

Bad news, I had an existing Google Play music subscription which I have had for months and the auto subscription payment was denied…See ya Telstra. Was a good ride.


Well, my Netflix subscription just got canned because of this. Good stuff. 🙁


Hi Matt. Did you get any response from Telstra? My monthly plex subscription just failed. it’s been setup for 12-18 months out of my telstra pre paid credit, so it’s definitely not new. Seeing that the sms we all got seems full of wiggle room, I don’t know whether I have the energy to engage Telstra again. Last time I spent almost a day on chat, got no where and it did my head in.


I did, and it wasn’t great sadly.

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Confirmation that all our google play stuff is out of commission on prepaid. Oh well.


I made sure I was setup for the maximum Netflix account even though I didn’t need it. Apart from buying apps I don’t use my recharge credit on anything else.


How are you using carrier billing for Netflix? I couldn’t see the option using Google Play on prepaid.


I signed up to Netflix via the app. Any changes to billing has to be via the app and not web login.


Looks like they’ve already stopped some new subscriptions. Tried to upgrade my Play Music subscription to a family plan and get an error saying the payment method is invalid.

Lindsay Went

The family plan has always required cash payments.

Dan Rayner

I have been using Telstra credit to pay for GPM since carrier billing was turned on


Same here. Wanted to upgrade to family plan but can’t 🙁


Reading the faq, it looks like the end of Google play billing through Telstra only counts for prepaid customers, post paid customers can still pay for Google play content using their Telstra account.

Dan Rayner

This what I understood. I believe this is because older prepaid plans used to include credit to the value of your recharge.
So when I recharged $40 I got $40 in Telstra credit. Then I could spend that $40 in Google Play. It was a fantastic loophole.