In an effort to maintain profitability, Australian mobile phone providers have been massaging the way they offer plans to consumers.
For the consumer, while the deals may appear appealing with new handsets and included calls and data, the reality is consumers are falling victim to clever marketing and increasing call rates.
The range of plans has shrunk and is now replaced by so-called CAP plans.
At first these plans look appealing.
However the mere name of CAP implies that your costs will be capped at the set amount. In reality this is the consistent monthly charge, regardless of the usage of the phone.
These CAP plans should therefore be termed for instance $49 per month plans.
In conjunction with the Cap misrepresentation, calls on these plans are considerably more expensive that on the previous plans.
The profit leverage has been further enhanced by the introduction of per minute call rates instead of the previous per 30 second and per second charging systems used until recently.
The net result is that a call of just a few seconds will cost you over a dollar.
There are however some opportunities to take control of your mobile phone costs and enjoy some significant savings.
The easiest way is not to use the main telcos as your mobile service provider.
Today there are a range of choices that provide telephony using the major carriers as the backbone, thus ensuring call quality and coverage, but at much lower cost.
For instance, amaysim offers call rates at just 15c per minute with no flagfall and 12c txt.
Compare this to
- Optus Cap – 35c flagfall and 90c per min
- Vodafone – 35c flagfall and 80c min (30 sec block), txt 28c
- Telstra – 35c flagfall and 90c per min, txt 25c
- 3 – 30c flagfall and 80c min (30 sec block), txt 25c
- Virgin – 40c connection and 99c min, txt 28c
If you are a light phone user, rather than paying high Cap fees for call times and texts you will not be using it can be a great idea to look at cost saving alternatives.
So when your current contract runs out it may be worth looking at these alternative providers , keeping your phone or if it is on its last legs, buying a mobile phone outright rather than the ‘free phone’ gimmick of the Cap plan offerings and enjoy the savings every time you make a call or send a text.