Tuesday, September 26, 2017

I've done it!

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!

23 comments:

  1. You are so right. Up until my birthday last year i refused to have a smart phone. I had good coverage with my phone and who needs the net on a phone? Anyway my son decided for me and got me a smartphone plus a Tesco sim card!!!! Horror of horrors but guess what? It is cheaper and now I can phone anywhere in the world for nothing using Whatsapp. So look out, it might be me phoning you one of these days.

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    1. Marie, I used to jeer at people in my mind who read newspapers online. I used to laugh at people who checked their email on their phone. Not any more. It would be an absolute hoot if you rang with Whatsapp. R keeps his phone internet on now to talk to his sister.

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  2. My phone is prepaid. It works for me. I really didn't want a contract - and don't use the phone a lot anyway.
    When we moved to NBN we severed our relationship with Telstra (who even sent us a small cheque).

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    1. EC, I kind of understood prepaid, but I didn't realise you could keep your own number so easily. I think we may be due a cheque or amended bill. I changed over R's phone today.

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  3. Anonymous7:58 am

    Apathy? Nonsense. I'm perfectly happy with two cans and a piece of string for local calls and tom tom drums for long distance. We never had all these problems when we sent telegrams. - Ian

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    1. Ian, then I am pleased to know you have never looked at Grindr.

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  4. I'm with Telstra...always have been...and I have no intentions of changing. I'm happy with what I've got.

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    1. Lee, you may do cheaper elsewhere and still use the Telstra network. Then you could afford to spend more on my birthday present next month.

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  5. I DID lose people's phone numbers when changing over. It was a disaster that could easily have been avoided.

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    1. Hels, for the last couple of phones we bought, we let Telstra do all that for us and no problem. I did it myself this time and fingers crossed, it all worked well. Exported numbers on phone to SIM, then exported back to phone. There is also a Google backup of phone numbers.

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  6. You make me very relieved that I don't bother with a mobile phone!

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    1. Cro, can you make a video of you with your finger in the dial of the telephone as you move your finger in the circular motion?

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    2. I wish I could; buttons rule!

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  7. I'll keep my apathy. I'm happy enough with my 4G service, unlimited text and calls, (It must be, I've never had a call or message saying otherwise and I text a LOT between family members)for $30 a month, which in this case and probably every other case is 4 weeks, so 28 days.

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    1. River, is your phone smart though? You could be hanging on my every blog post or email when you are out and about if you have plenty of data for your phone.

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  8. Wow! We shop at Aldi's grocery store here in NC, and I had no clue they offered phone service! I learn so much from other blogs. Glad everything is working out for you AND you're saving cash. Hugs...RO

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    1. RO, they may not at your Aldi stores. This may interest you, http://highriser.blogspot.com.au/2014/08/what-is-hofer-mummy.html

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  9. My apathy is way too powerful for me to fight it Andrew and so far I haven't had any probs with Vodafone.. touch wood :)

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    1. Grace, perhaps Vodafone has put a more work into reception over there. I think it is ok for greater Melbourne, but not at all for the countryside.

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  10. I should have jumped from Telstra when I connected to NBN earlier this year but didn't have the courage to unravel all that I have bundled with them.

    I know, I know.

    However one little win in the conversion. The Telstra operator informed me I was being overcharged with my existing services. My bills dropped immediately by $100 a month. I'm considering seeking compensation or credit for the amount of overcharging but am balancing that against the possibility of them rescinding their admission I was overcharged. Maybe I should let sleeping dogs lie. (That is how distrustful I am of Telstra.)

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    1. Victor, you are even more tightly bound, with you being a Foxtel subscriber. Our totals are now $70 for internet/landline and $50 for two mobiles.

      It rather depends on by how much you were overcharged. If you are talking hundreds of dollars, go for it.

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  11. Wow, I should look into that Aldi deal too. I pay $30 for my mobile, I never use all my call allowance, I doubt I have overseas calls included though, but only have 2GB of data and I seem to go over every second month at a cost of an extra $10 sometimes I just get advised after the deed and it's usually just a day or two before the new month!

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    1. Sami, Telstra has the same deal as you mention, that is an extra 1gb for $10, and so does Aldi. We have made use of it deliberately when travelling in Australia. Once we went over the limit about three hours before the next month began, and a call by me saying that is not fair resulted in the charge being dropped. If you have wifi for your phone at home and utilise free wifi where you can when you are out, you should manage ok on 2gb.

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