I am finally free from the clutches of Telstra, well kind of. I will explain.
We ditched Telstra as supplier of our internet and home phone when we changed from cable internet and normal landline to fibre optic to the basement of our building and then copper wire to our apartment. We happy with what we have and it is not the cheapest but our home phone and internet supplied by Telstra dropped from $122 to $70 with TPG.
We were each paying for the same mobile Telstra plan. Our plan was $25 each, plus $5 for 250mb of data each month. We did not pay for calls to each other and I think our text messages were unlimited. It was a cheap capped price to Telstra mobile phones. It was not a great deal but we had bought phones on a plan. Once the contract ended, we just kept on paying, except Telstra arbitrarily increased the price $5, to $35 each. I was cross and told them so, but their reply was in essence, that is how it is. Like it or lump it.
Well, I did not like it and a chance conversation at work stimulated me. The best thing about Telstra is their coverage of phone signals all over Australia. The other two companies, Optus and Vodafone, who have mobile phone towers don't come close to matching Telstra.
I had heard before that the Aldi supermarket mobile phone service through another provider uses the Telstra mobile phone system, and at a cheaper price. But oh apathy is thou enemy. Our phone service was good and it was so easy to do nothing.
A chance conversation with a workmate over someone who sent a photo using Vodafone which did not arrive in a timely manner and ended up being sent using Whats App. I sent the person the photo via my Telstra service to him and arrived to his phone immediately. He used to use Vodafone but he bought a bush block of land where there was no Vodafone reception and changed to Aldi, who uses the Telstra system. I asked him if it was hard to change and he assured me it was not.
But it is prepaid. I have never done prepaid. Isn't that what poor people use and run out of credits and their phone is then useless until they top up? I was most worried about keeping my phone number. I have never changed it since I bought my first mobile phone in the mid nineties, I think.
I spent an hour looking at the Aldi mobile phone website, going in to all the possibilities and getting a grasp on prepaid. I liked what I saw and any doubts I had were addressed by the website.
So, Sunday we went to Aldi and for $5 I bought an Aldi SIM card, which gives a $5 credit that I will never use.
I was warned by Aldi that it could take up to 48 hours to port my existing phone number to their new service. Monday I bit the bullet. It took me about 15 minutes to fill in the online information. A leaflet with the SIM told me to insert the SIM into my phone before proceeding, but at the conclusion of the sign up, the website told me to keep my old SIM in my phone until it stopped working. So, I put the old SIM back in the phone. Five minutes later, I had no phone service. I took out the Telstra SIM and put the Aldi SIM back and no service. I will just have to wait for up to 48 hours. Another five minutes later, the Aldi phone service came on.
It was no more than half an hour from when I sat to activate my new SIM and filled in all the id check stuff and credit card info, until it was working in my phone. If I had not done it myself and not noticed the discrete Aldi Mobile on the screen, I would not know anything has changed. I did have to set up voice mail though.
I downloaded the Aldi phone app to manage my account, but it easier to do on the website. I am very impressed. For $25 I get free normal calls, free sms, 3gb of data, 100 minutes free to overseas countries. I will no longer be hunting for free wifi when we are out and about, yet I still have the coverage of Telstra mobile 4/3G.
R is now going to buy an Aldi card and we will change his phone over. Preparatory work is making sure you have contacts where they should be so you don't lose people's phone numbers.
Apathy is your enemy. Act now!